China exports and imports hit new highs in September

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Imports to China grew at their fastest rate this year in September, while Chinese exports extended their persistent gains as more trading partners lifted coronavirus restrictions in a further boost to the world’s second-biggest economy.

With predictions China will become the world’s biggest economy this year, exports in August rose 10.2% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, broadly in line with analysts’ expectations for 10% growth and up from a solid 9.5% increase in August, Reuters reported.

Imports rose 4.3% to CNY3.88 trillion during that time, according to the data.

For September, China’s exports rose 9.9% from a year ago – close to analysts’ expectations of 10%, according to a Reuters poll.

Imports surged 13.2% in US dollar terms, far above the 0.3% predicted by the Reuters’ poll.

These positive trade results suggest that China is making a swift recovery after the coronavirus pandemic’s hit to overseas orders. As the global economy restarts, Chinese firms are rushing to grab market share as their rivals grapple with reduced manufacturing capacity due to lockdowns.

Global demand for Chinese medical supplies, such as masks, due to COVID-19 has helped boost exports in the last several months.

Already heightened US-China tensions are expected to escalate ahead of the US presidential election on November 3. China remains well behind on its pledge to boost purchases of US goods under an agreement that was launched in February.

China’s trade surplus with the US narrowed to US$30.75 billion in September from US$34.24 billion in August.

China was the first country affected by the coronavirus pandemic and was the first major economy to resume most business activity. It was the only country in the world to record a GDP surplus in the second quarter of 2020.

US President Donald Trump is tipping the country will rebound strongly in the third quarter but, as with many countries, the amount of new cases of COVID-19 is still limiting the economy.

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