China Exports Jumped in November as Import Gains Signal Strength


China Exports Jumped in November as Import Gains Signal Strength

Exports were up 12.3% from a year ago to $217.4 billion, according to data published by the General Administration of Customs.

The rebound boosted export growth to the fastest pace since March.

The numbers may help to ease concerns of slowing momentum in Asia's economic powerhouse, which had surprised markets with robust growth of almost 6.9 percent in the first nine months of this year, thanks to a government-led infrastructure spending spree and unexpected strength in exports.

Surges in imports of Chinese goods and services with relatively flat exports are behind the widening bilateral trade gap between China and the U.S. The U.S. has yet to release data for November, but the total U.S. trade deficit spiked 8.6 percent in October, Politico reported Tuesday, citing a Department of Commerce report.

"Steel mills have been restocking more iron ore since October as prices hit as low as $50 (a tonne)", said Yu Yang, an analyst with Shenyin & Wanguo Futures in Shanghai.

Beijing reports that the trade gap for 2016 was $250.7 billion, but the US reports last year's trade deficit as $347 billion.

Crude oil imports rose to 37.04 million tonnes in November, or 9.01 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 7.3 million bpd the previous month, and the second-highest level in history. Chinese exports to the United States rose 14.3 percent and imports increased 4.2 percent.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection recently told local authorities that have not converted to gas or electric heating that they may burn coal or other fuels, media reported.

Despite the overall strength of the November data, imports could come under pressure as China's economy cools, analysts say.

Iron traders started stockpiling product as prices fell last month in anticipation of stronger demand after the winter months, traders and analysts said. "We expect exports to continue to perform well in the coming months on the back of strong global demand", Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.



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