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China's Exports Grow Less Than Forecast; Imports Growth Tops Expectations

13 October 2017, 04:07 | Devin Moran

GETTYNorth Korea say'The sanctions are a brutal criminal act

GETTYNorth Korea say'The sanctions are a brutal criminal act

Trade figures in dollars will be released later in the day. China's exports to North Korea dropped a more modest 6.7 per cent in September, Huang Songping, spokesman for the customs department, told a news conference.

The politically volatile surplus with the United States was $28.1 billion.

Exports climbed 8.1% year-over-year in September, data from the General Administration of Customs showed Friday.

The world's second biggest economy recorded a trade surplus of CNY193 billion (USD29.3 billion), down from CNY 286.5 billion in August.

The upbeat readings will be welcome new for Beijing ahead of a twice-a-decade Communist Party Congress next week, at which President Xi Jinping is expected to tighten his grip on power and set out the government's top political and economic priorities for the next five years. The rise beat the poll's forecast for a 15% gain.

In renminbi terms, exports advanced 9% and imports grew 19.5% in September.




In addition to pointing to still robust demand, some of the surge in September imports may be due to companies "front loading" supplies ahead of a week-long national holiday in early October, analysts said.

As result, the trade surplus totaled USD28.47 billion in September versus the expected level of USD38.0 billion.

Export growth was unexpectedly strong in the first half of the year, a positive sign for Chinese leaders who want to avoid job losses in trade-related industries as they try to nurture consumer-led economic growth.

It was a better performance than August, when exports rose 5.5 per cent and imports were up 13.3 per cent. "Today's figures suggest that not only has strong foreign demand continued to prop up manufacturing activity in China but domestic demand remains resilient too", Capital Economics says in note.

China accounts for roughly 85 per cent of North Korea's external trade and is seen by many as the key to forcing Pyongyang to at least freeze its nuclear and missile programmes. The customs agency said it will publish details its trade in specific products with North Korea on Oct 23.



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