According to data released by the China Customs on Sunday, the value of dollar-denominated exports rose 60.6 percent year on year in the January-February period. Analysts had expected a more modest expansion of 38.9 percent after an increase of 18.1 percent in December. However, the exceptionally high figure is partly due to a 17.2 percent decrease in Chinese exports in the January-February period last year due to the coronavirus epidemic. Chinese exports have expanded steadily since June last year.
Dollar-denominated imports also grew stronger than expected, at 22.2 percent year-on-year in the January-February period. Analysts had expected a 15 percent increase after a 6.5 percent increase in December. Chinese imports have grown steadily since September last year, but last year’s low benchmark also played a role in the background of data at the start of the year: From January to February 2020, Chinese imports contracted by 4 percent.
Data for January and February are released in aggregate in order to eliminate the distorting effects of the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls in the first two months of each year but falls on variable dates.
China’s external trade balance closed with a surplus of $ 103.25 billion in the first two months of the year. Analysts had forecast a surplus of $ 60.00 billion after a record surplus of $ 78.17 billion in December.
Dollar denominated data is important because the vast majority of analysts and investors also rely on it for their forecasts and analyzes.
In terms of the yuan, the value of exports rose 50.1 percent and the value of imports 14.5 percent year on year from January to February. With this, China accumulated a trade surplus of 675.86 billion yuan in the first two months of this year.
Based on dollar-denominated values, China’s exports to the European Union increased by 62.6 percent and its imports by 32.5 percent in the January-February period compared to the same period last year. In the first two months of the year, the total foreign trade volume of China and the European Union reached 119.6 billion dollars, surpassing the value of foreign trade between China and the United States, which was 109.8 billion dollars in the same period. Thus, the European Union was the second largest external trading partner of China in the period from January to February after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In a statement released at the same time as the data was released, the Chinese Customs Department indicated that demand in major economies such as Europe and the United States has recovered thanks to various fiscal stimulus measures, which has led to an increase in demand for Chinese products.
China was the only major economy in the world that was able to achieve economic growth in 2020. Chinese Premier Li Kuoqiang said Friday at the opening of the Chinese parliamentary session this year, after the gross domestic product expanded by 2.3% last year, Beijing expected growth of more About 6% this year, with the aim of healthy economic development. However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast an 8.1 percent growth in the performance of the Chinese economy this year in January.
Cover photo: Getty Images