Markets

China's imports from N.Korea plummet in December,…

China's imports from N.Korea plummet in December,…

"Export growth will likely drop as the rapid appreciation in the yuan previous year will start to hurt outbound shipments after a lag, and amid trade frictions between China and the United States", said Zhao Yang, chief China economist at Nomura Holdings in Hong Kong.

Taiwan was China's seventh largest trading partner in 2017, with trade between the two sides growing 14 percent from the previous year, according to Chinese customs data released Friday.

China's exports to North Korea in December declined 23.4 percent from a year earlier to $260 million, Huang told reporters.

The politically volatile global trade surplus stood at $422.5 billion, down from $486 billion in 2016.

"Export prospects remain solid, given our outlook for growth globally, although more forceful USA trade restrictions on China's exports remain a key risk, following another rise in the U.S.' bilateral trade deficit in 2017", he said.

"The next stage is an open economy that focuses on a balance of trade", he said. His administration has slapped anti-dumping tariffs on a range of Chinese imports, such as aluminum and steel, and toughened its stance on Chinese investment in the U.S.

China's exporters have had a blockbuster year.




US data show that the deficit in goods trade with China was already $347 billion in 2016.

China has so far resisted taking major retaliatory action against United States imports despite a volley of new duties and investigations from the White House.

China's crude oil imports were down 12 percent last month, albeit from near-record levels above 9 million barrels per day in November, weighing on futures prices on Friday.

The overall trade between the two countries for the year fell 10.5 percent compared to 2016.

"Import growth outpaced that of exports significantly for the whole year of 2017, indicating that China's growth profile has been experiencing a transition as domestic demand has been picking up", said Zhou Hao, a senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank in Singapore.

Imports grew 4.5% year-on-year in the month to $177.1 billion, slowing from a rise of 17.7% in November and the lowest reading in a year, according to the customs data. That could mean softening demand for imports as Chinese businesses and consumers tighten their belts.


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