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China trade surplus with United States widens unexpectedly

15 July, 2018, 16:22 | Author: Sara Gill
  • A ship hauls containers at a container port in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province. – AP

China's exports rose 11.3% in June from a year earlier, compared with a 12.6% increase in May, customs data showed.

As the world's largest exporter, China has threatened retaliatory action against the tariffs and pledged that it would lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

On Wednesday, China said it would hit back after Washington escalated their trade dispute, threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Even so, the US dollar hit a six-month high against the safe-haven Japanese yen as currency traders put trade worries aside and focused on Labor Department data that showed producer prices rising more than expected.

However, analysts said the June figures were a sign that exporters rushed to beat the initial tranche of tariffs, which came into effect in the first week of July.

"Looking ahead, export growth will cool in the coming months as United States tariffs start to bite alongside a broader softening in global demand", Capital Economics analyst Julian Evans-Pritchard said in a statement.

"This trade dispute will definitely have an impact on China-US trade and will have a very negative impact on global trade", said customs administration spokesman Huang Songping.

After a strong start to the year, growth in China's exports has moderated recently, and is expected to face more pressure from the initial round of USA tariffs.

For January-June, it rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period a year ago.


Amy Zhuang has warned that there could be knock-on effects if the U.S. proceeds with its proposal for a new round of tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods.

But in a statement coming from the Chinese Commerce Ministry, The Asian nation said the surplus was overestimated and caused by America's own "domestic structural problems".

"Targeting such a large amount of basic consumers will inevitably have an effect on USA inflation".

However, a lower yuan would make it more expensive for China to import United States goods.

In yuan terms, China's exports grew 3.1% in June and imports rose 6.0%.

"So we would be back to square one", Mr Kuo said, with China exporting more to the United States than it buys from the country.

USA stocks closed higher on Thursday as industrials rebounded and technology names soared, while commodities recovered and the dollar held steady after concerns over an escalating US trade war with China took a breather.

"Trade wars are not easy to win", he said.

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