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China's exports hold up despite US tariffs

AFP  |  Beijing 

China's to the and the rest of the grew more than expected in October, official data showed Thursday, as its traders apparently rushed shipments across the Pacific ahead of higher tariffs.

Relations between the world's top two economies have soured sharply this year as US slapped roughly half of Chinese imports with higher taxes.

Top Chinese officials are currently in Washington, with hopes that those talks could pave the way for a breakthrough on trade later this month when Trump meets Chinese at the summit in

Still, in October exporters continued to hurry goods across the Pacific, with China's to the US surging 13.2 per cent from the same period last year, according to the data released by China's customs administration.

"October's surprisingly strong export performance seems to have been partly due to a continuous front-loading effect and is unlikely to be a long-term trend," said Betty Wang, at

China's trade surplus with the US fell to USD 31.8 billion in October, from a record USD 34.1 billion in September.

October marked the first full month of US tariffs on USD 200 billion of Chinese goods -- but the tax rate is set to jump from 10 per cent to 25 per cent come January.

Trump has repeatedly boasted the US could not lose a trade war with China, but Beijing's retaliatory tariffs on American goods have been more damaging so far.

China's imports from the US fell 1.8 per cent in October on-year, while its surplus with the US expanded to USD 258 billion for the first 10 months of the year.

Analysts estimate the upcoming meeting of the two heads of state will fail to resolve the friction.

"We do not expect the sideline meeting of Xi and Trump during the would be positive," said of

"We just hope that the meeting won't create further damage to the trade relationship," Pang told

China's overall trade -- what it buys and sells with all countries including the US -- logged a USD 34 billion surplus for the month.

jumped 15.6 per cent for October on-year, beating the 11.7 per cent forecast by News, while imports rose 21.4 per cent on-year, well above the forecast 14.5 per cent.

"While shipments to the US held up well, those to other parts of the grew even faster," said of

"Global demand may be holding up better than feared, while a weaker Chinese yuan is also helping the country's exporters."

Robust imports showed China's economy remained stable despite posting 6.5 per cent GDP growth in the third quarter -- its slowest pace for nine years.

could be pulling up from its campaign to tackle mounting debt which weighed heavily on growth, analysts said.

"Robust imports, especially commodities, could be an indication of a rebound in infrastructure investment and a stabilisation of the property market," said ANZ's Wang.

Despite the resilient trade data, analysts forecast the US-feud will hit growth in coming months. "Trade tensions will be a lingering concern for the global economy," Wang said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 14:00 IST