China reports strong imports and exports in June

China’s exports grew at a much faster than expected pace in June as solid global demand led by easing lockdown measures and vaccination drives worldwide eclipsed virus outbreaks and port delays.

Imports growth also beat expectations, though the pace eased from May, with the values boosted by high raw material prices, customs data showed on Tuesday.

Thanks to Beijing’s efforts in largely containing the pandemic earlier than its trading partners, the world’s biggest exporter has managed a solid economic revival from the coronavirus-induced slump in the first few months of 2019.

Exports in dollar terms rose 32.2 percent in June from a year earlier, compared with 27.9 percent growth in May.

The analysts polled by Reuters had forecasted a 23.1 percent increase.

“Exports surprised on the upside in June, shrugging off the impact of the temporary Shenzhen port closure and other supply chain bottlenecks,” said Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics.

China’s trade performance has seen some pressure in recent months, mainly due to a global semiconductor shortage, logistics bottlenecks, higher raw material and freight costs.

All the same, the global easings in Covid-19 lockdown measures and vaccination drives appeared to underpin a strong uptick in worldwide demand for Chinese goods.

China’s customs administration spokesperson Li Kuiwen said the country’s trade may slow in the second half of 2021, mainly reflecting the statistical impact of the high growth rate last year.

Li, speaking at a news conference in Beijing earlier in the day, also said that imported inflation risks were manageable though China’s trade still faces uncertainties due to the global pandemic.

“But overall we think China’s foreign trade in the second half still has hopes of achieving relatively fast growth,” he said.

China posted a trade surplus of US$51.53 billion for last month, compared with the poll’s forecast for a US$44.2 billion surplus and the US$45.54 billion surplus in May. (Reuters)
Last updated: 2021-07-13 HKT 12:10