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China's trade surplus widens in June as imports drop

13 July 2018

China's trade surplus with the United States has grown to a record high of almost $29 billion in June. This is the highest surplus in any month since 1999.

China's exports to the United States rose 13.6 percent in the first half of 2018 from a year earlier, while its imports from the US rose 11.8 percent in the same period.

China's commerce ministry has said the two sides are not discussing restarting trade negotiations, and renewed its pledge to "strike back" against Washington's latest threat to slap $200 billion of Chinese imports with new 10% taxes.

Chinese data released Friday showed that the U.S. trade deficit with China hit $28.97 billion in June, an increase of $4.39 billion from May, according to Reuters.

The data comes as President Trump has ratcheted up a trade war with China and other close American trade partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Washington added 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6 in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. So far, encouraged by strong job growth and expectations of good quarterly earnings reports, United States markets have been strong and the Australian market has reached a 10-year record high.

China is running out of American goods for retaliatory tariffs due to their lopsided trade balance. Both official and private business surveys reported softer export orders last month.

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The news came as the two economic superpowers stand on the brink of an all-out trade war that would have a huge negative impact globally.

Imports grew 14.1 percent in June, customs said, missing analysts' forecast of a 20.8 percent growth, and compared with a 26 percent rise in May. "Not only will Chinese exporters suffer but American consumers as well", she said.

Separate customs data on Friday showed imports of commodities from soybeans to crude oil eased compared with a year ago, but China's steel mills and aluminium smelters sold much more overseas spurred by higher worldwide prices amid growing concerns about slowing demand growth.

China logged a trade surplus of $41.61 billion for the month, compared with forecasts for a $27.61 billion surplus in June and a surplus of $24.92 billion in May.

The ministry encouraged companies to increase import of soybean, soymeal, vehicles, aquatic products from other markets.

For January-June China's trade surplus with the United States rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period previous year.

China's trade surplus widens in June as imports drop