Thursday, 17 January, 2019

China's Foreign Trade Tops Record $4.6Trln in 2018 - Customs

Nellie Chapman | 14 January, 2019, 20:23

In December 2018, therefore, China imported 9.23 million tons of gas, both by pipeline and as LNG, up 17 percent on the year.

Imports increased 15.8 percent previous year, resulting in a trade surplus of $351.76 billion, the country's lowest since 2013.

Customs data released Monday show exports rose 11.3 percent to $478.4 billion despite President Donald Trump's punitive tariffs in a fight over Chinese technology ambitions. Total trade reached $ 4.62 trillion, a 12.6 percent rise from 2017, according to customs data.

The country is also the world's second-largest importer of LNG because of its drive to shift away from coal and into gas as it fights one of the worst pollution problems globally.

The surplus surged despite the Trump administration imposing tariffs on almost $250 billion of goods made in China.

Traditionally China imports vast quantities of American soybeans in the second half of the year - but the buying fell off after China hit United States soybeans with a 25 percent retaliatory import tariff this summer.

China will work to straighten out trade frictions with the U.S. this year, the country's commerce minister told state media on Friday.

However, in a sign that the White House's measures are having an impact, China's exports to the USA sank last month.

But a slew of bad data has added to concerns about China's economy, which is expected to have grown around 6.5% in 2018, down from 6.9% in 2017 and the weakest rate in nearly three decades.

Chinese exporters also face pressure from cooling consumer demand in other global markets.

The country's global trade surplus was $352 billion.