China trade surplus with USA widens unexpectedly

20180706-China-US-trade-chart-NEW

China trade surplus with US widens unexpectedly

Wang said he had been under the impression that four rounds of high level talks in recent months between China and the United States had averted the trade war.

The figures come after the two sides exchanged tit for tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods and Donald Trump threatened to up the ante with measures on a colossal $200 billion of Chinese imports.

For January-June China's trade surplus with the United States rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period past year.

In the first half of the year, Chinese exports to the USA increased 13.6 percent as compared to the same period in 2017, while imports from the US only rose 11.8 percent.

The difference between China's exports to the United States and its imports from the world's largest economy expanded to a monthly high of $29bn (£22bn), up from $24.6bn in May.

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 US tariffs.

Separate customs data on Friday showed imports of commodities from soybeans to crude oil eased compared with a year ago, but China's steel mills and aluminium smelters sold much more overseas spurred by higher global prices amid growing concerns about slowing demand growth.

Analysts expect to see the impact of the tariffs in July's figures.

Investors fear a prolonged trade battle with the United States could harm business confidence and investment, disrupting global supply chains and harming growth in China and the rest of the world.




But in a statement from its commerce ministry, China blamed those problems on the USA, saying the imbalance was "overestimated" and caused by America's own "domestic structural problems".

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

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

The spiraling battle between Beijing and Washington shows no signs of cooling down.

The ministry encouraged companies to increase import of soybean, soymeal, vehicles, aquatic products from other markets. This reduces the domestic pressure on the U.S. to resolve its trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico and Europe, which triggered the new tariffs.

In June the surplus with the U.S. was at $28.97 billion, up from $24.58 billion in May, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Friday.

For January-June, it rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period previous year. The surplus was China's highest since December.

Chinese data released Friday showed that the United States trade deficit with China hit $28.97 billion in June, an increase of $4.39 billion from May, according to Reuters.

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