China’s export growth beats expectations but imports fall

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Trucks drive past containers at the Yangshan deep water port in Shanghai, China January 13, 2022. Picture taken January 13, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

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  • Export growth in March slows slightly but beats forecast
  • March imports drop unexpectedly
  • Ukraine War, COVID lockdowns take their toll

BEIJING, April 13 (Reuters) – China’s export growth held up well in March, although analysts say momentum could soon falter as the world’s second-largest economy is set to slow sharply due to war in Ukraine. and containment measures related to COVID-19.

Imports, on the other hand, fell unexpectedly as domestic consumption weakened amid widespread shutdowns to halt the spread of record COVID cases.

Outbound shipments rose 14.7% in March from a year earlier, official data showed Wednesday, beating analysts’ expectations of a 13% rise, but slowed from a 16% gain. .3% over the January-February period.

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Imports fell 0.1%, marking the first decline since August 2020, compared to a 15.5% gain in the first two months of the year. Analysts were expecting an 8% increase.

China’s strong trade performance over the past two years is expected to slow this year as other countries emerged from COVID-related lockdowns and rising energy prices and global logistics disruptions caused by war. from Russia to Ukraine weigh on exporters.

Factory activity in March fell as the fall in export orders accelerated, manufacturing surveys showed, with companies reporting that customers canceled or suspended orders due to uncertainties over the war in Ukraine. Read more

Qi Yong, general manager of consumer electronics retailer Shenzhen Muchen Technology Co, told Reuters export orders from their European customers fell 20% in March from a year ago, although shipments to North America remained strong.

Qi said this was due to “war-induced weak purchasing power and risks of economic slowdown in European economies”, adding that “exporters exposed to the bloc may continue to feel the pinch”.

China posted a trade surplus of $47.38 billion in March, more than double the forecast of $22.4 billion. The country recorded a surplus of $115.95 billion in January-February.

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Reporting by Stella Qiu, Ellen Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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