Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Cross-strait trade picked up in 2017: Chinese customs

Reuters Reuters
Orlando Vargas | 12 January, 2018, 15:14

China's exports to North Korea in December declined 23.4 percent from a year earlier to $260 million, Huang told reporters.

China's foreign trade volume rose 14.2 percent year on year to 27.79 trillion yuan (4.28 trillion USA dollars), ending the previous continuous drop of the previous two years, official data showed Friday. If he does, it could provoke tit-for-tat reprisals from Beijing.

"In terms of how big of an impact it (falling trade) had on North Korea, there was definitely impact because some of their products could only go to China while others could only be imported from China", said Chen Fengying, an economics expert at state-backed China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Exports - a key driver of China's economic expansion in 2017 - rose 7.9% to $2.26 trillion, the highest rate since 2011, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.

The humming global economy helped propel China's trade, giving its leaders more time to achieve their goal of transitioning the economy from one driven by exports and investment to a more stable model propelled by domestic consumption.

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Exports grew 10.9 percent for the month, slightly beating analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News, but imports fell well short of expectations, growing 4.5 percent. 2017 imports are the highest since 2014.

It was the weakest annual growth in imports since December 2016.

China's exports to the rogue nation did expand 8.3 percent a year ago, but it has drastically cut its reported oil shipments in recent months.

For 2017, China's imports from North Korea dropped 33 percent to $1.72 billion, the lowest value in at least four years.

"I think the [December] slowdown is really mild - mostly in line with seasonality", said Victor You, an analyst with CLSA in Hong Kong, who tracks China's iron ore, coal, copper and copper concentrate imports, as well as its exports of steel products and aluminum.

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