China Says It's Implementing Deals Done With U.S. on Trade

Xinhua  Sipa USA  Newscom

Xinhua Sipa USA Newscom

Shipments to the whole world in U.S. dollar terms rose 5.4 per cent in November, the customs administration said Saturday, missing estimates.

Imports grew 3 per cent, widening China's trade surplus to US$44.7 billion from US$34 billion.

The November headline trade numbers came out less than a week after Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce delaying the planned January 1 USA hike of tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods while they negotiate a trade deal.

On December 6, the USA reported that its trade deficit in October jumped to a 10-year high, and that the deficit with China that last month surged 7.1 percent to a record $43.1 billion.

China's government said Thursday it will promptly carry out a tariff cease-fire with Washington and is confident they can reach a trade agreement, suggesting Beijing wants to avoid disruptions due to the arrest of a tech executive.

Import growth was 3 per cent, the slowest since October 2016, and a fraction of the 14.5 per cent seen in the poll.

The commerce ministry's remarks came days after US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to give negotiators 90 days to resolve their trade spat.

The new export order component in China's official purchasing managers' index had been contracting since June and barely picked up in November.

In particular, imports of soybeans plunged by 38 per cent, while iron ore, coal and steel imports also fell.

Trump and figures in his administration have said China would immediately start buying United States goods in bulk, but Beijing has refrained from confirming those claims.

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. The most recent event - which ran from mid-October to early November - saw transactions falling by 1 per cent, or US$300 million, compared with last autumn.

China's overall trade - what it buys and sells with all countries, including the U.S. - logged a United States dollars 44.7 billion surplus in November, up from USD 35 billion the previous month, the data showed.

Economists in recent months have penciled in a deterioration in China's export outlook in 2019, factoring in higher U.S. tariffs on a wider range of Chinese goods.

Yang Yewei, an analyst at Southwest Securities in Beijing, said that as global demand cools, "domestic growth-boosting measures should be more effective".

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