China exports

The nerdier parts of Washington DC have been riveted over the last week by a fight over one of the duller institutions in the city: the Exim Bank, the US’s export credit agency. The battle threatens the very existence, at least in its current form, of the agency that promotes US exports by insuring foreign buyers.

The battle is generally portrayed as a domestic ideological affair that pits true believers in unregulated markets (at least on this issue) against true believers in business. Yet the context inescapably includes other exporting economies, particularly in emerging markets. The stakes for the Exim Bank’s defenders have only been raised by the aggressive use of similar export credit agencies (ECAs) by emerging economies and most particularly China. It remains remarkable that the same US Congress that regularly inveighs against unfair Chinese export competition is also contemplating abolishing the agency that may help redress the balance.

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Source: HSBC

Emerging markets are redrawing the map of global trade in high-tech goods with several countries in developing Asia vaulting up the global rankings both in terms of exports of high-tech products and in R&D spending, a new HSBC research report finds.

Much of developing Asia’s ascendance is driven by China’s near six-fold increase in its total share of world exports of high-tech goods to 36.5 per cent in 2013 from a mere 6.5 per cent in 2000 (see chart), HSBC found. The US, by contrast, saw its share of total high-tech exports fall to 9.6 per cent from 29.2 per cent in the same period. Continue reading »

China’s exports hit a positive note just ahead of the big party meeting, aka the plenum. As the FT reported, the 5.6 per cent year-on-year increase in exports in October was higher than market expectations of a 3.2 per cent rise.

But the numbers are actually better than the top line. Here’s why. Continue reading »

Chinese trade balance rose 8 per cent in August from 2012, up to $28.5bn from $17.8bn in July. The improvement was due to higher than expected exports, as demand picked up in Asia and parts of the developed world.

But trade data can be very volatile. Looking at a rolling 12 months, the growth in trade surplus is slowing. And although you would expect China to run a trade surplus with most, if not all, trading partners – China is the world’s biggest exporter, after all – there are some strange statistical puzzles in the data. Chart of the week takes a closer look. Continue reading »

In previous months, analysts have been skeptical of China export data, with worries that the figures have been inflated by the practice of “round tripping” (see previous beyondbrics for more).

So what does the boost in China’s August exports announced over the weekend show? Continue reading »

By Sammy Suzuki of AllianceBernstein

China has been an incredible engine of manufactured exports over the past decade and the central player of the Brics era. But mounting competition from other countries is gradually pulling production away from China. How should investors proceed? Continue reading »

China’s trade had a decent run in July. Exports rose 5.1 per cent year on year, rebounding from a 3.1 per cent drop in June. Imports increased 10.9 per cent year on year, up from a 0.7 per cent fall in June. You can read the full story by the FT’s Simon Rabinovitch here.

Good news for Chinese business, then. But as one reader commented: “Who could China have possibly increased exports to?” Well, let’s see. Continue reading »

Now everyone can see the true colour of China’s exports. The decline of both exports and imports in June surprised the market, but to some observers, the news perhaps is perhaps less shocking: it’s been a bad year for quite a while after all.

The 3.1 per cent fell in exports in June from a year earlier, the worst data since October 2009, has worsened the export growth collapse that started in May. After the regulatory changes towards hot money inflows through fake trading and over-invoicing, exports growth in May slumped to 1 per cent from 14.7 per cent in April. Continue reading »

Amid the alarming headlines over China’s pretty terrible trade data (“Markets Going Down After Horrendous Chinese Data” said Business Insider; and to show the FT isn’t immune, FastFT said “China trade data screams s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n”) it’s worth looking at where exports are going – or not going, in this case.

The overall figures are bad, for sure. Exports dropped 3.1 per cent from a year earlier, with forecasts way off at +3.7 per cent. Pretty much everyone is worried. So who’s (not) buying? Continue reading »

At first glance, China’s trade figures for January are stellar: exports up 25 per cent year on year, imports up 28.8 per cent.

But as ever at this time of year, the great migration of the Chinese New Year holiday makes reading the data a nightmare. Continue reading »

We’ve been here before, of course – do you trust China’s economic statistics? There are two schools of thought: a) you must be mad and b) it’s all we’ve got so let’s make the best of it.

The latest set of numbers to come under fire are the export figures for December. They came in at a robust and healthy 14.1 per cent. Beyondbrics wrote at the time that some analysts seemed less than cheerful. That was an understatement – UBS and Goldman have come out and said that the figures simply don’t add up. So let’s look at the charge sheet. Continue reading »

China’s exports rebounded to 14.1 per cent year on year in December – far higher than expected by economists. Imports were up 6 per cent too, after five slow months. Stocks have ticked upwards in response. Hurrah!

So why do some analysts sound less than cheerful? Continue reading »

As budget negotiations in Congress drag on towards the end of year deadline, questions are being asked about the global ripple of the US falling off the so-called fiscal cliff.

Should Asia investors be losing sleep over it? Continue reading »

China’s trade figures released on Monday aren’t much to cheer about. In contrast to improved retail sales and investment data released over the weekend, Monday’s figures showed exports increased just 2.9 per cent year on year, with imports flat. Markets were uncertain what to make of it all.

See the chart after the break. Continue reading »