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  HOME | Business & Economy (Click here for more)

Chinese Exports Soar Despite Impact of Coronavirus

BEIJING – Chinese exports climbed 8.2% year-on-year in April, a rebound that surpassed projections by analysts.

However, imports fell 10.2% year-on-year in the same period due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

China’s foreign trade too declined 0.7% year-on-year in April according to official data released Thursday and stood at 2.5 trillion yuan (some $352.3 billion).

The General Administration of Customs said that the exports were placed at $1.41 trillion yuan while the imports fell to 1.09 trillion yuan.

The trade surplus was recorded at 318.15 billion yuan in April.

Capital Economics analyst Julian Evans-Pritchard said that the export figures has been, “much stronger than anticipated in April but are likely to drop back sharply this month.”

According to Evans-Pritchard who analyzes figures in US dollar terms, said that after falling sharply in the months of January and February the outbound shipments were, “back to their level at the end of last year, prior to COVID-19.”

However, this trend could soon fade away, “with exporters unlikely to be immune from the sharp slowdown in global activity for long.”

The export and import order sub-indices – pertaining to reference indicator of the Chinese manufacturing industry – weakened 12.9 and 4.5 points in April as compared to the previous months due to canceled orders which were already under production.

The expert added that, “the worse is still to come for Chinese trade. The sharp deterioration in activity among China’s key trade partners last month will probably feed through to much weaker exports in May.”

“There is further downside for imports too given the slow domestic recovery, already elevated inventory levels, and the fact that over a quarter of imports feed into China’s export,” Evans-Pritchard added.

Oxford Economies said that, “April shipments are likely to have been boosted by exporters making up for shortfalls caused by supply disruptions in Q1.”

The firm said that the exports will weaken significantly in the short term however import will not fall due sharp fall in the price of energy import.

In March, the Chinese foreign trade reduced 0.8% year-on-year ton stand at 2.45 trillion yuan.

These figures showed an increase in international trading activities as the two-month data between January and February – when the country was mainly paralyzed due to the coronavirus crisis – indicated a contraction of 9.6% year-on-year.

The foreign trade of the country slid 6.4% year-on-year during the first quarter of 2020 while foreign trade in the first four months of the year went down 4.9% year-on-year.

Between January and April, Chinese exports to European Union went down 6.6% while the imports were reduced 6.4%.

Moreover, exports to the United States dropped 15.9% in this period while the imports sunk 3%, cutting trade surplus with the country at 21.9%.

Chinese export of electronic and mechanical products reduced 5.9% between January and April while the export of textile products including masks went up 5.9%.

Exports of steel products and automobiles also fell -11.7% and -7.2%, respectively, among others.

On the other hand, during this period, China imported more petroleum products – 1.7% more, but at 8.9% lower price – and coal, around 26.9% at 4.9% lesser cost.

Import of refined petroleum reduced 21.3% while automobiles dropped 29.8% among others.

The World Trade Organization recently warned that the international trade flows could slump by 32% in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.


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