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China trade surplus hits record $75 billion as November exports soar

Total exports rose to $268 billion, up from October’s 11.4 percent growth.

December 07, 2020 / 12:26 PM IST
Image: Reuters

Image: Reuters

China’s politically sensitive trade surplus with the US soared to a record $75.4 billion November as exports surged 21.1 percent over a year earlier, propelled by strong demand from American consumers.

Exports to the United States rose 46 percent despite lingering tariff hikes in a trade war with Washington, customs data showed Monday.

Total exports rose to $268 billion, up from October’s 11.4 percent growth.

Imports gained 5 percent to $192.6 billion, up from the previous month’s 4.7 percent, reflecting the growing strength of China’s economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese exporters are benefiting from the economy’s relatively early reopening after the Communist Party declared the disease under control in March while foreign competitors still are hampered by anti-virus controls.


Exports were much stronger than expected in November, said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.

He noted that consumers have stepped up purchases of goods, cutting back on services that may not be safe or available during the pandemic.

Chinese exporters have temporarily taken global market share from competitors.

Forecasters say that surge is unlikely to last into 2021 once coronavirus vaccines are rolled out and consumption in Western markets gradually returns to normal.

Total exports for 2020 returned to positive territory in October after the first quarter’s 13.3 percent contraction dragged down the overall figure.

Chinese import growth by volume has been bigger than the financial figures indicate due to slumping global prices for oil and other goods amid plunging demand.
first published: Dec 7, 2020 12:26 pm

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