China’s trade surplus with USA hits record even as growth slows

Analysts say the export data showed that the "front-loading" impact as firms rushed out shipments to beat planned United States tariff hikes faded, and that export growth is likely to slow further as demand cools.

As part of the truce, Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% beginning 1 January, leaving them at the current 10% rate.

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

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

Asked to confirm whether Beijing promised to buy American goods immediately, Gao said China will "immediately implement the consensus reached by the two sides on farm products, cars and energy".

U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires on December 1, 2018.

Stirring fears of a reignition of trade tension, the daughter of Huawei Technologies' founder, a top executive at the Chinese technology giant, was arrested in Canada on Dec 1 and faces extradition to the United States, threatening to drive a wedge between the US and China. November's China numbers might add a sense of urgency.

China's President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 9 November 2017. They say that suggests China will need to find issues on which it can show progress to persuade Trump to extend his deadline. 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 trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record Dollars 35.6 billion in November, official data showed Saturday, as exports across the Pacific remained strong despite a raft of USA tariffs while imports shrank. The October surplus was US$31.78 billion.

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

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. Government support measures have yet to boost business sentiment and offset the effects of waning domestic and global demand.

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