Unexpected 14.8% growth in China’s exports in March after 5 months of declines


Link Securities | According to data from the General Bureau of Customs, China’s trade surplus rose to $88.19 billion in March from $44.35 billion in the same month a year earlier, far exceeding the analysts’ consensus forecast of a $39.2 billion surplus.

Exports unexpectedly rebounded by 14.8% year-on-year, following a 6.8% drop in the combined January-February period, and against the consensus forecast of a 7% decline. The reading represents the first increase in six months, and the fastest pace since July, amid government efforts to increase trade with developed countries, while exploring new possibilities with emerging countries.

Meanwhile, imports fell by 1.4% year-on-year to $227.4 billion in March, a reading significantly lower than the expected 5% drop, and following a combined fall of 10.2% in the January-February period. Purchases have fallen since last October, amid weakening domestic demand, lower commodity prices, and a stronger dollar. Copper imports plunged 19%, as domestic production increased, while higher global prices have dampened interest. In contrast, China’s coal imports rebounded 151% to a three-year high, with increased purchases by utilities, a sign of recovering demand, following the removal of restrictions on Australian coal imports.

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