China’s 2018 exports up 9.9%, imports gain 15.8%, but trade surplus slumps 16.2%

Although the country’s trade surplus with the United States grew by 17.0% from a year ago for last year, overall trade surplus slowed to the lowest since 2013, embedding signs of a likely slowdown in trade for this year.

Exports for China for the full 12 months of last year showed the highest growth since 2011, the country’s General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. Although the country’s trade surplus with the United States (US) grew by 17.0% from a year ago for last year, overall trade surplus slowed to the lowest since 2013, embedding signs of a likely slowdown in trade for this year.

Total trade for last year reached US$4.62 trillion, a 12.6% increase from 2017. Exports rose by 9.9% on a year-on-year basis, while imports climbed 15.8%.

Meanwhile, overall trade surplus was at US$351.76 billion, down by 16.2%. Trade surplus with the US, grew 17.0% from a year ago at US$323.32 billion for last year, the highest on record since 2006, according to Reuters data.

China’s economy is still growing steadily in 2019, but it faces external headwinds, said spokesman for the customs administration Li Kuiwen.

Exporters had seen a strong start earlier last year but the trade conflict between the US and China posed a threat on the flow of goods due to the trade tariffs both parties had imposed on each other subsequently. In October, exports for China rose due to a rise in orders as businesses ordered goods ahead of the further higher tariffs that could kick in due to the trade tensions.

China’s economic growth target likely to be lowered for this year

Last week, China was said to be planning to curtail its economic growth target for this year from last year’s rough target of 6.5%, to a range between 6.0% and 6.5% for this year. The proposed target is expected to be revealed in March this year, during the country’s annual parliamentary session, sources told Reuters.

The country has been missing expectations for its economic data in recent months, which are easy tell-tale signs of sputtering growth conditions. For the third quarter, China’s economy grew the weakest pace since the first quarter of 2009.

Gross domestic product (GDP) data for 2018 which is slated to be revealed later this month is expected to show China’s growth at around 6.6% for the full year, a pace of growth the slowest since 1990.

The Chinese Yuan was trading ¥6.76 against the greenback at 11.30am, Hong Kong time.


This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.
CFDs are a leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.

See an opportunity to trade?

Go long or short on more than 17,000 markets with IG.

Trade CFDs on our award-winning platform, with low spreads on indices, shares, commodities and more.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices
Sell
Buy
Change
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Sell
Buy
Change
Sell
Buy
Change
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.

Plan your trading week

Get the week’s market-moving news sent directly to your inbox every Friday. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming economic events, as well as commentary from our expert analysts on the key markets to watch.

For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.

All trading involves risk and losses can exceed deposits. Trading CFDs may not be suitable for everyone so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. All trading involves risk and losses can exceed deposits.