China's Imports Unexpectedly Rise in October, But Exports Fall More Than Expected

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog08-11-2023

· China's exports fell 6.4% year-on-year in dollar terms in October, Chinese customs said on Tuesday.

· China's imports unexpectedly rose 3 percent during the same period, the data showed.

· However, CNBC's calculations of the customs data showed that China's imports from the U.S. fell 3.7 percent year-on-year in October.

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China reported a larger-than-expected drop in exports in October, while imports unexpectedly rose year-on-year in October.

China's customs said exports fell 6.4% year-on-year in dollar terms in October. That was worse than the 3.3% decline predicted by a Reuters poll.

Imports rose 3% year-on-year in dollar terms in October. This contrasts with the 4.8% year-over-year decline predicted by Reuters.

However, CNBC's calculations of customs data show that China's imports from the U.S. fell 3.7 percent year-over-year in October.

China's imports from the European Union rose more than 5 percent, while imports from ASEAN were up 10.2 percent, the analysis showed.

Overall, China's exports have fallen month-on-month since May this year. The last time imports grew year-on-year was in September last year.

China's exports to Southeast Asia and the European Union fell by double digits in October, according to CNBC's calculations of official data. Exports to the U.S. fell more than 8 percent, the analysis showed.

In terms of products, China's crude oil imports rose in both volume and value, but rare earth imports fell.

Exports of footwear and toys fell, while exports of smartphones and household appliances rose. china's automobile exports continued to grow in double digits in october, but the rate of growth slowed sharply - up 50% year-on-year, compared to more than 60% in the previous months.

Low global demand for Chinese goods and sluggish domestic demand weighed on China's overall trade.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the world's second-largest economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter, beating expectations and putting China on track to meet its official growth target of around 5% for the year.

China's crude oil imports increased by 13.52% year-on-year in October, up slightly from September. Soybean imports were up 25% year-on-year as cheap and plentiful exports from Brazil continued to surge.

Trade with China's major counterparts continued to shrink, with exports to Southeast Asia, its largest trading partner, down 15.1%.

Trade with Australia is the exception to the rule, against a backdrop of improved relations between Beijing and Canberra, easing diplomatic tensions that have arisen in recent years over a range of issues including national security and the new crown epidemic. In recent months, China has lowered trade barriers to Australian barley and wine exports.

Exports to Australia were up 5.9% in October, while imports from the resource-rich country were up 12.0%.

The increase in Chinese imports narrowed the overall trade surplus to $56.53 billion in October, down from $77.71 billion in September and below expectations of $82 billion.

Analysts said it was too early to tell whether recent policy support would be enough to boost domestic demand, as real estate, unemployment, and weak household and business confidence could undermine a sustainable rebound in the economy.

Last week's data showed that China's manufacturing activity unexpectedly contracted in October, complicating policymakers' efforts to restore growth.

"The foreign orders indicator suggests a more severe decline in foreign demand than has been observed in customs data to date," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, head of China economics at Capital Economics.

"We expect most developed economies to experience a mild recession or weak GDP growth in the short term, which will affect their demand for foreign goods."

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