Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

China April exports jump 12.9%, imports up 21.5%, beat forecasts

China April exports jump 12.9%, imports up 21.5%, beat forecasts

Chinese exports rebounded in April reflecting strong global demand, despite Beijing's ongoing trade frictions with the USA, customs data showed Tuesday.

China's exports last month rose 12.9 percent from a year earlier, beating analysts' forecasts for a 6.3 percent increase and snapping back from a 2.7 percent drop in March that economists believe was heavily distorted by seasonal factors.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said despite a seasonal uptick in export growth, the data suggest that foreign demand for Chinese goods has started to soften, with the prospect of possible United States tariffs weighing on the outlook.

High-level discussions between the two sides in Beijing last week appeared to make little substantive progress in defusing tensions apart from an agreement to hold more talks. Exports amounted to USD200.4 billion. President Donald Trump tweeted last week that "it is hard for China in that they have become very spoiled with USA trade wins!" "The president has a great relationship with President Xi", Sanders said. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, and Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro were all on the trip.

Trade discussions between China and the US have intensified as Trump has targeted the trade imbalance between the two countries and insufficient intellectual property protections in China.

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China's trade surplus with the USA swelled to $22.2 billion, up from $15.4 in March and the first increase since November, as exports to the US grew at a double digit pace.

Imports in April also showed robust growth of 22% from past year, up to USD171.7 billion.

That news comes against the backdrop of intensive conversations between President Donald Trump's administration and Beijing about trade issues, including a demand from the American side to close the trade gap between the two countries.

On Tuesday, China called for United States trade talks to be conducted on an equal footing, as Beijing's top economic official is due in Washington next week for more discussions on a dispute that could trigger tariffs on billions of dollars of goods this month.

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