Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

China September imports blow past expectations

China September imports blow past expectations

China's imports of North Korean goods plummeted for a seventh consecutive month in September.

The gain was stronger than the most optimistic forecast in a Reuters analysts poll.

He cited favorable factors for trade growth including mild recovery in the world economy, strong economic momentum inside China and good prospects for trade with other emerging markets.

In renminbi terms, exports advanced 9% and imports grew 19.5% in September.

The trade surplus narrowed in September to $28.47 billion from almost $42 billion the previous month, falling short of expectations for a $37.3 billion surplus. Imports rose 18.7%, exceeding estimates with the fastest growth since March, to result in a trade surplus of $28.5 billion.

Imports for the first three quarters were 3.44 million tonnes, down 9.4 percent on the same period previous year, customs said.

Business activity stepped up also due partly to the late timing of the country's Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, which left more working days in September than in the same month of 2016.

China's politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States rose to a record for a single month, according to Reuters calculations using official data going back to 2008.

China-US ties have been strained by President Donald Trump's criticism of China's trade practices and by demands that Beijing do more to put pressure on North Korea.

Authorities are in the midst of a campaign to reduce the risks from a rapid build-up in debt produced by years of credit-fuelled stimulus, and the continued strength of imports and exports could give policymakers confidence to stick with their deleveraging push into next year.

That could see a further rise in borrowing costs for companies and consumers.

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