Salman Khurshid, India’s foreign minister, is back from a trip to China last week, happy to see the end of a tense stand-off over a long-running border dispute. Settling that issue will re-open the way for a planned visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India and allow the two countries to concentrate on the big topic on Khurshid’s agenda: trade.
But here, too, relations between the region’s big powers are not entirely friendly. Continue reading »
In the run up to this month’s trade data from South Africa, there were a couple of different theories doing the rounds.
One was that the deficit would get a lot worse, based on a the timing of holidays and the recent industrial unrest (hurting exports); the other was that the trade account would get a lot better, based on the weakening rand and a pick up of exports to China. The Bloomberg analysts consensus was for a slight improvement at R8.5bn ($945m) deficit.
Which was right? Continue reading »
A weaker rand may add to the cost of imports in South Africa, but there are positive effects. The depreciation that has seen the rand fall 6.47 per cent year to date is helping exports and, if could even help ease the country’s balance of trade headache.
Trade data due on Tuesday may show that Chinese imports from the country have shot up in March, according to one analyst, which could underpin an improvement in South Africa’s trade balance. It’s not the consensus view, but it’s worth taking note. Continue reading »
The China-Africa debate is never far away. Lamido Sanusi, governor of Nigeria’s central bank, recently wrote in the FT of a whiff of colonialism. Much has been said about the two countries’ unequal relationship, based on China’s supposedly insatiable desire for African raw materials and for control of its mining assets.
But perhaps a bigger problem is not China’s dominance but China’s slowdown. What happens when the country doesn’t want so many of Africa’s exports? That moment may be coming sooner than you think. Continue reading »
It may not be a surplus, but it’s some positive economic news for India: the trade deficit has narrowed again.
Data published by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry show that the trade gap declined to two-year low of $10.3bn in March – compare that with the deficit of $14.9bn in February and $13.5bn in March 2012. Continue reading »
Philippine exports in February fell 15.6 per cent from a year earlier to their lowest level in 14 months, after falling 2.7 per cent the previous month as demand for the country’s main shipments of semiconductor chips and electronics devices has slumped.
The sharp fall in exports suggests the Philippines will struggle to meet the government’s GDP growth target of 6 to 7 per cent for 2013 after last year’s robust expansion of 6.6 per cent, the highest among south-east Asia’s five biggest economies. Continue reading »
Cheap Chinese exports have long flooded the Indian market. But – in a couple of small sectors – it seems the tables are turning.
First, Samsung announced it would be taking a phone designed for India to China. And now, Yamaha, the Japanese two-wheeler maker, has decided to produce the world’s cheapest motorbike in India and export it to other markets, including China. Continue reading »
India’s trade gap has narrowed to $14.9bn in February, down from $20bn a month earlier and $17.7bn in December – on the surface an improvement, but there are worries lurking underneath.
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Monday, exports rose 4.2 per cent year-on-year to $26.3bn in February, while imports grew at a slower 2.7 per cent over the year to $41.2bn. Compared with January, imports have actually fallen from $45.6bn and exports are up from $25.6bn. Continue reading »
Polish farmers have a debt of thanks to the World Trade Organisation – having joined the WTO last year, Polish food exports to Russia soared in 2012 and are likely to continue growing quickly this year.
The Rzeczpospolita newspaper reports on Monday that in the first 11 months of 2012, food sales to Russia rose by 30 per cent compared to the same period in 2011, reaching about $1.3bn. Analysts expect a similar increase in 2013. Continue reading »
The Nigerian oil industry faces a difficult 2013 as shale oil in the US takes an increasing share of the north American market. Togo-based Ecobank has said that Nigerian crude oil exports to the US could fall by over a quarter this year, from 800,000bpd in 2012 to as low as 580,000bpd in 2013.
Continue reading »
The re-balancing of the Chinese economy should enable Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam to double their share of the world textile market and boost intra-Asian trade as a proportion of world trade – so says a report from the consultancy Ernst & Young. Continue reading »
South Korea’s exports fell unexpectedly in December but the government insists the economy is recovering.
Exports, which make up about half the nation’s economy, dropped 5.5 per cent in December from a year earlier after two months of expansion, renewing concerns about the country’s economic outlook. But the government attributed the fall to fewer working days and stressed that the economic recovery was on track, as average exports on working days still increased 7.6 per cent last month. Continue reading »
It’s the exports, of course. Korea’s current account registered a record surplus of $6.88bn in November, up from $5.78bn in October, and beating July’s previous record of $6.14bn.
The trade strength pushed the won to appreciate around 0.45 per cent against the dollar on Friday, at around 1,067.6 per USD, continuing the rally from May. Continue reading »
Turkey’s latest growth figures – just 1.6 per cent in the third quarter – show that talk of a booming Turkish economy may be somewhat outdated.
But the sources of the growth are important too. To a certain extent, it is due to gold, government and Goldilocks. Continue reading »
Ahead of next Wednesday’s presidential election in South Korea, both leading contenders are full of talk about rebalancing the economy away from the export-focused manufacturers who have long served as its main growth engine.
But a steady stream of data is showing that the reliance on exports is, if anything, becoming more pronounced. Continue reading »