China Exports Rose 14.8% in First Quarter, Imports Up 31.1%

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China Exports Rose 14.8% in First Quarter, Imports Up 31.1%

The balance between exports and imports came to a surplus of $23.93 billion in March, compared with a deficit of $9.15 billion in February, the General Administration of Customs said Thursday.

A strengthening of communication between China and the United States will benefit trade and investment, said Huang Songping.

Trump and Xi have agreed to pursue a 100-day plan on trade, which could include measures to reduce the deficit.

Trump administration officials have said they plan tougher enforcement of USA trade remedy laws and will initiate more unilateral trade deals.

China's record oil imports in March helped it top the U.S.as the world's biggest buyer during the first quarter as stockpiling and aggressive buying by refiners coincided with slumping domestic production.

Chinese exports to the USA rose 19.7 percent last month from a year earlier, while imports from the United States rose 15.1 percent. Imports growth in United States dollars terms improved to 20.3 percent y/y in March, thanks to increased import of crude oil, in both volume and price.

China's overseas shipments strengthened in the first quarter from a year earlier as global demand held up.

Meanwhile, imports of primary commodities such as iron ore and crude oil continued to grow in both volume and price.

Sun attributed the current trade surplus to differences in economic structure, industrial competitiveness and worldwide division of labour, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The risk of an explicit trade war has waned subsequent to the Trump-Xi summit", economists at ANZ said in a note.

On the other hand, there are signs that the jump in imports on the back of China's recent economic recovery may now be starting to lose steam, the economist noted.

World trade expanded at the fastest pace in six years in the first quarter, according to Oxford Economics Ltd. Imports in China averaged 497.44 USD HML from 1983 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 1830.94 USD HML in March of 2013 and a record low of 16.60 USD HML in July of 1983.

"If China cuts off oil supply, North Korea would not survive on its own for three months and everything in North Korea would be paralysed", said Cho Bong-hyun, who heads research on North Korea's economy at IBK Bank in Seoul.

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