Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

China's exports, imports pick up pace in September

China's exports, imports pick up pace in September

Trade volume for private enterprises also increased, as their combined volume rose 17.8 percent, compared with the share for the same period of a year ago. Demand for Chinese products has proven robust as growth in major trading partners holds up, though this trade report also gets a boost from a comparison with a low base previous year.

The sanctions, which could cut off one-third of North Korea's total annual exports of US$3 billion, took effect in September, but China enforced the new measures from Aug 15. Copper imports were the highest since March.

Imports for the first three quarters were 3.44 million tonnes, down 9.4 percent on the same period a year ago, customs said.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $28.47bn, less than the near $40bn expected and down from around $42bn in August.

The trade surplus narrowed in September to $28.47 billion from almost $42 billion the previous month, falling short of expectations for a $37.3 billion surplus.

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

"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", Julian Evans-Pritchard, China Economist at Capital Economics wrote in a note. The trade surplus was the lowest in six months. China's September imports in dollar terms increase by 18.7% on-year, higher than expected, and exports rise 8.1%.

China-U.S. ties have also been strained by demands that Beijing do more to pressure North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

The surplus with the 28-nation European Union, China's biggest trading partner, was $9.2 billion.

However, analysts have repeatedly warned that China's growing debt mountain still poses risks to its economy.

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