China’s trade surplus with United States hits record high of US$34 billion

Jermaine Castillo
October 12, 2018

"We expect the dynamic to change once we get a bit deeper into this, but for now China is trying to outrun the next round of tariffs".

Mnuchin suggested that the two leaders could meet next month if the Trump administration felt trade discussions were moving in a positive direction. Later, both stock indexes gave up much of their gains.

"Exports continued to defy U.S. tariffs last month but imports struggled in the face of cooling domestic demand", said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.

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China has steadfastly denied that it has manipulated the yuan to cope with the tariffs.

He said that in the discussions he had with the Chinese, they had made clear that they didn't see a further weakening of the Chinese yuan as being in their interests.

Overall, China's trade surplus with the United States stood at $226 billion for the first nine months of the year, up from $196 billion in the same period of 2017.

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China enjoyed a record high $34.1 billion trade surplus with the September, taking the surplus for the year to date to $225.8 billion, according to Chinese statistics released on Friday. Imports of American goods increased 9 percent to $12.6 billion, down from August's 11.1 percent growth. That's significantly higher than the $196 billion recorded between January and September previous year.

"The way the USA has structured the tariffs encourages frontloading because firms that know they're going to hit with tariffs would rather pay 10 percent than 25 percent", he said. Export numbers have been buoyed by producers rushing to fill orders before American tariffs rose.

Chinese exports to the American market rose by 13 percent over a year to $46.7bn, down from August's 13.4 percent growth, customs data showed on Friday.

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The yuan has fallen for weeks against the USA dollar, dropping nine percent in the past six months, which mitigates the rise in the price of Chinese goods caused by punitive U.S. tariffs. That prompted suggestions Beijing might weaken the exchange rate to help exporters. The central bank has tightened controls on currency trading to head off further declines.

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