China’s June trade data buoyed by robust demand

BEIJING • China’s overseas shipments rose from a year earlier as global demand held up and trade tensions with the US were kept in check amid ongoing talks. At home, resilient demand led to a rise in imports.

Exports rose 11.3% in June in dollar terms, the customs administration said yesterday, more than the estimate of 8.9% in a Bloomberg survey. Imports increased 17.2% in dollar terms, leaving a trade surplus of US$42.8 billion (RM183.71 billion).

Demand for Chinese products has proven resilient this year as global demand holds up. Tensions with the country’s largest trading partner also appear to be easing after 100-day trade talks due to end on July 16 have signalled some progress toward addressing the deficit run by the US, which last year reached US$347 billion.

At the same time, the stronger than expected import reading bodes well for second-quarter (2Q) gross domestic product growth, due for release on Monday, as it may signal that domestic demand hasn’t succumbed to greater curbs this year on lending or the property market.

“The upbeat figures point to still-strong foreign demand for Chinese goods, as well as fairly resilient domestic demand,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics Ltd in Singapore. “We are sceptical that the current pace of imports can be sustained for much longer given the increasing headwinds to China’s economy from policy tightening.”

“The better than expected export growth indicates a resilient trade outlook,” said Betty Wang, senior China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd in Hong Kong.

In the first-half, exports in yuan terms rose 15% compared to the same period a year earlier, to 7.21 trillion yuan (RM4.56 trillion). First-half imports rose 25.7% to 5.93 trillion yuan, customs administration data released earlier showed. — Bloomberg