Exports dropped by 0.9 percent year-on-year to USD 212.93 billion in October, compared to market estimates of a 3.9 percent decline and after a 3.2 percent fall in September. This was the third straight month of yearly decline in overseas sales, amid weakening global demand and ongoing trade dispute with the US. Sales contracted for steel products (-13.1 percent to 4.78 million tonnes), coal (-29.6 percent to 0.34 million tonnes), coke & semi-coke (-67.8 percent to 0.27 million tonnes) and unwrought aluminium and products (-10.6 percent to 431,000 tonnes). In contrast, exports rose for refined products (25 percent to 5 million tonnes), rare earth (17.4 percent to 3,639.2 tonnes) and rice (34.2 percent to 251,000 tonnes).
Among major trade partners, exports fell to the US (-16.2 percent), Japan (-7.8 percent), and Australia (-0.6 percent); but rose to South Korea (5.5 percent), Taiwan (19.7 percent), the EU (3.1 percent), and the ASEAN countries (15.8 percent).
Imports contracted 6.4 percent to USD 170.12 billion, less than consensus of an 8.9 percent fall and following an 8.5 percent decline in September
. This was the sixth consecutive month of yearly drop in imports, as purchases fell for refined products (-13.1 percent to 2.22 million tonnes), natural gas (-10.6 percent to 6.52 million tonnes), and steel products (-9.9 percent to 1.03 million tonnes). Also, imports declined for soybeans (-10.7 percent to 6.18 million tonnes), and rubber (-8.6 percent to 500,000 tonnes). On the other hand, imports rose for crude oil (11.5 percent to a record high of 45.51 million tonnes), unwrought copper (1.9 percent to 431,000 tonnes), copper ores & concentrates (22 percent to 1,914,000 tonnes), coal (11.3 percent to 25.69 million tonnes), and iron ore (5.1 percent to 92.86 million tonnes).
Purchases declined from the US (-14.3 percent), Japan (-7.3 percent), and Taiwan (-5.4 percent); but increased from the EU (16.6 percent), Australia (11.5 percent), and the ASEAN countries (2.3 percent).
China's trade surplus with the US increased to USD 26.42 billion in October from USD 25.88 billion in September. Considering the first ten months of the year, trade surplus with the US was recorded at USD 247.74 billion.