China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 46.79 billion in December 2019 from USD 56.80 billion in the same month a year earlier and below market expectations of USD 48.0 billion, ahead of the signing of the so-called "Phase 1" agreement between Beijing and Washington. Exports jumped 7.6 percent, the first increase in five months, amid strengthening global demand and trade talks with the US. In addition, imports climbed 16.3 percent the most since October 2018, boosted in part by higher commodity prices. China's trade surplus with the US decreased to USD 23.18 billion in December from USD 24.6 billion in November. Considering 2019 full year, the trade surplus widened to USD 424.9 billion from USD 350.9 a year earlier, with exports rising by 0.5 percent and imports falling 2.8 percent. Still, China posted a USD 295.8 billion surplus with the US, down from USD 323.3 billion in 2018, with exports dropping 12.5 percent and imports slipping 20.9 percent. Balance of Trade in China averaged 102.41 USD HML from 1981 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 612.86 USD HML in October of 2015 and a record low of -320.02 USD HML in February of 2012. source: General Administration of Customs

Balance of Trade in China is expected to be 150.00 USD HML by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in China to stand at 130.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the China Balance of Trade is projected to trend around 410.00 USD HML in 2020, according to our econometric models.


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China Balance of Trade

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
467.92 379.26 612.86 -320.02 1981 - 2019 USD HML Monthly
Current Prices, NSA



Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-10-14 02:30 AM Sep $39.65B $34.83B $33.3B $34B
2019-11-08 03:00 AM Oct $42.81B $39.65B $40.83B $43.0B
2019-12-08 03:00 AM Nov $38.73B $43.02B $46.3B $49.3B
2020-01-14 03:00 AM Dec $46.79B $37.93B $48B $50.8B
2020-02-07 03:00 AM Jan $46.79B $45.1B


News Stream
2020-01-02
US-China Trade War Enters 3rd Year
In 2020, a slowdown in both the US and China economy is expected as the so-called trade war enters third year. Although the two countries are likely to sign the “phase one” trade deal early January, investors remain cautious as many see it more like a truce, unable to solve main trade issues. Also, with the US presidential election next year, uncertainty and cautiousness should head into 2020 as well.

2020-01-01
US-China Trade War Enters 3rd Year
In 2020, a slowdown in both the US and China economy is expected as the so-called trade war enters third year. Although the two countries are likely to sign the “phase one” trade deal early January, investors remain cautious as many see it more like a truce, unable to solve main trade issues. The Chinese economy is in the worst shape as the growth has been slowing down since the first round of tariffs was imposed by the US in February 2018. The US economy is still in the very good shape but signs of downshifting are becoming more evident as uncertainty spreads to manufacturers, exporters and companies in general. Also, with the US presidential election next year, uncertainty and cautiousness should head into 2020 as well.

2019-12-08
China November Trade Surplus Below Estimates
China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 38.73 billion in November 2019 from USD 41.86 billion in the same month a year earlier and below market expectations of USD 46.30 billion. This was the smallest trade surplus since August, as exports unexpectedly declined, while imports surprised forecasts by rising for the first time in seven months. China's trade surplus with the US decreased to USD 24.60 billion in November from USD 26.45 billion in October. The January-November trade surplus widened to USD 377.6 billion from USD 294.1 billion in the same period last year. The trade surplus with the US was recorded at USD 272.5 billion, with exports dropping 12.5 percent and imports slipping 23.3 percent.

2019-11-08
China Posts Largest Trade Surplus in 3 Months
China's trade surplus widened to USD 42.81 billion in October of 2019 from USD 32.97 billion in the same month a year earlier and above market expectations of a surplus of USD 40.83 billion. This was the largest trade surplus since July, as exports declined 0.9 percent year-on-year to USD 212.93 billion, while imports dropped at a faster 6.4 percent to USD 170.12 billion.

2019-10-14
China September Trade Surplus Beats Expectations
China's trade surplus widened to USD 39.65 billion in September 2019 from USD 30.26 billion in the same month a year earlier and compared to market expectations of a USD 33.3 billion surplus. Exports declined 3.2 percent over a year earlier while imports dropped at a faster 8.5 percent. Meantime, China's trade surplus with the US narrowed to USD 25.88 billion in September from USD 26.96 billion in August. In the first nine months of the year, the trade surplus with the US was recorded at USD 221.33 billion. Considering the January-September period, the trade surplus increased to USD 298.6 billion from USD 219.2 billion in the corresponding period of the prior year.

2019-09-08
China Trade Surplus Widens in August
China's trade surplus widened to USD 34.83 billion in August 2019 from USD 26.30 billion in the same month a year earlier and compared to market expectations of a USD 43.0 billion surplus. Exports declined unexpectedly by 1 percent to USD 214.80 billion, while imports fell at a faster 5.6 percent to USD 179.97 billion. China's trade surplus with the US narrowed to USD 26.95 billion in August from USD 27.97 billion in July. In January-August, the trade surplus widened to USD 259.27 billion from USD 189.05 billion in the corresponding period the prior year. In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 2.40 billion in August, as exports grew 2.6 percent and imports dropped 2.6 percent.


China Balance of Trade
Since 1995, China has been recording consistent trade surpluses which from 2004 to 2009 has increased 10 times. In 2018, China posted a trade surplus of USD 351.76 billion, the lowest since 2013, as exports increased 9.9 percent, its strongest performance in seven years, while imports were up 15.8 percent. The biggest trade surpluses were recorded with Hong Kong, the US, the Netherlands, India, the UK, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. China recorded trade deficits with Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, Germany, Brazil and South Africa.

China Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 467.92 379.26 612.86 -320.02 USD HML [+]
Current Account 491.89 461.67 1330.85 -341.00 USD HML [+]
Current Account to GDP 0.40 1.30 10.10 -3.70 percent [+]
Imports 1908.55 1834.11 1951.34 13.88 USD HML [+]
Exports 2376.47 2213.37 2376.47 12.50 USD HML [+]
External Debt 19652.14 17106.00 19652.14 158.28 USD HML [+]
Terms of Trade 104.88 103.45 118.33 81.75 points [+]
Capital Flows -97.60 213.65 725.40 -1305.58 USD HML [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 1367.10 1243.94 1367.10 18.32 USD HML [+]
Tourist Arrivals 3054.00 2917.00 3054.00 22.96 Tens of Thousands [+]
Gold Reserves 1948.31 1936.49 1948.31 395.01 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 3806.00 3811.00 4408.00 1012.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 4.47 5.11 6.29 1.47 [+]
Tourism Revenues 5.97 5.40 5.97 4.13 CNY Trillion [+]
Weapons Sales 1040.00 1227.00 2605.00 3.00 USD Million [+]