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Chinese exports grow more than expected in December; imports are accelerating

FILE PHOTO: Containers at Yangshan Port, Shanghai, China, on October 19, 2020. REUTERS / Aly Song FILE PHOTO: Containers at Yangshan Port, Shanghai, China, on October 19, 2020. REUTERS / Aly Song

BEIJING, Jan 14 (.) – Chinese exports grew more than expected in December, customs information released Thursday showed, as coronavirus disruptions around the world boosted demand for Chinese goods, even as one yuan higher Strong made exports more expensive for foreign buyers.

A robust domestic recovery also stimulated Chinese appetite for foreign goods in December, with import growth accelerating from the previous month and exceeding expectations in a . poll.

Exports increased 18.1% in December compared to the previous year, slowing down the 21.1% jump in November, but exceeding expectations that would increase by 15%. Imports rose 6.5% year-on-year last month, beating the forecast of 5% and accelerating the pace of November’s 4.5% growth.

The dynamism of exports helped fuel an impressive rebound in China’s manufacturing sector last year, as the pandemic wreaked havoc abroad. China is expected to be the only major economy to post positive growth in 2020. Exports grew 3.6% for the full year and imports fell 1.1%.

Although the pandemic will bring challenges, a revitalized global economy and a steady recovery in China’s domestic economy provide a foundation for the Asian country to maintain trade growth in 2021, Li Kuiwen, a customs spokesman, said in a briefing.

However, some fear that a rise in raw material prices and the yuan could reduce profits for exporters. “We believe that trade will remain resilient in the short term but will soften later this year,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, China chief economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.

China posted a trade surplus of $ 78.17 billion in December, the highest reading in Refinitiv’s records, dating back to 2007. Analysts in the survey expected the trade surplus to shrink to $ 72.35 billion from $ 75.400. million dollars from November.

(Information from Stella Qiu, Lusha Zhang and Gabriel Crossley; edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; translated by Andrea Ariet in Gdansk)