China says it will carry out tariff cease-fire with US

08 December, 2018, 17:38 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Saul Loeb  AFP  Getty Images

However, China's exports to Europe rose only 6 per cent year on year, sliding from 14 per cent in October, while South Korean imports of Chinese goods fell by 3.6 per cent compared with the same period of last year.

"Moderating global momentum, the stronger dollar and protectionist trade policies will keep weighing on exports in the near-term, while sturdy domestic demand and limited spare capacity keep import growth healthy - further widening the deficit", Jake McRobie and Gregory Daco, economists at Oxford Economics, said in a report.

China on Thursday appeared to try to ease concerns by saying it would "immediately" implement measures agreed under the truce.

High Chinese retaliatory tariffs on US soybeans have caused the USA exports of soybeans to drop by as much as 97 percent.

But China's overall trade last month was worse than expected, with export growth slowing to 5.4 per cent and import growth slowing to 3 per cent.

However, the pace of export growth to the United States slowed from 13 per cent in October, which suggested that the impact of front-loading was fading as many American buyers had stockpiled goods well in advance.

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Exports had risen 15.6 percent in October from a year earlier, and a Reuters poll of 26 economists had forecast November shipments from the world's largest exporter would increase 10 percent. Imports of iron ore fell for a second time, reflecting waning restocking demand at steel-mills as profit margins narrow.

Shipments of Chinese goods on an earlier USA tariff list targeting $50 billion of products have already weakened sharply, but that has been offset by a rush of shipments on a later list affecting the $200 billion, according to analysts from Capital Economics.

The president's optimism comes just after a day since he publicly declared himself a "Tariff Man", and stood by his protectionist trade policies even after stocks fell almost 800 points amid confusion over the result of Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. November's China numbers might add a sense of urgency.

China's trade surplus with the United States was $35.55 billion in November, a record high and compared with $31.78 billion in the preceding month. Despite those new tariffs, the trade gap with China also widened in October, increasing by $700 million to $38.2 billion.

Also, the Chinese yuan has weakened more than 5 percent against the dollar so far this year, helping to make Chinese products more competitive overseas. "Typically there is a six-month lag between the value of industrial export orders and currency movements".

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