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 »
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 »
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 »
Ouch. This isn’t any old trade deficit, this is a record trade deficit. South African imports minus exports hit R21bn ($2.4bn) in October, a far cry from many analysts’ predictions of around R15bn.
The trade deficit was R13.8bn in September. So what’s gone wrong? As so often in recent economic data releases, mining troubles are part of the picture but there’s more to it than that. Continue reading »
China’s exports of machinery and transport equipment will increase more than threefold in the ten years to 2020, as emerging economies in the Asia Pacific shift to producing higher value-added goods. The region’s other big exporters will also see big gains, including South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. Continue reading »
Indonesia-watchers have been fretting recently about some alarming headlines about economic overheating, not least the growing current account deficit.
But not everybody is worried. In a report on Friday, Barclays came out strongly against the consensus. While others are running for shelter, the Barclays team is staying put on the (Bali) beach. Continue reading »
The number that matters in China’s trade figures, published on Tuesday, is for imports. With the global economy slowing, all eyes are on the Middle Kingdom to see whether it can once again help pull the world out of trouble.
The June data are far from reassuring. Imports grew by just 6.3 per cent, around half the 12.7 per cent recorded in May and half the forecast rate. Monthly figures fluctuate, but if June sets the trend for the coming months, China faces challenges avoiding a hard landing. And if China lands hard, so will much of the rest of the world. Continue reading »
Emerging market exports make headlines. When they are rising, developed world politicians worry about the effects on their industries. And when they are falling, governments everywhere fret about the slow down.
As a result, emerging market imports often don’t get the attention they deserve. But they will: as HSBC writes in a report on Tuesday, EM imports are likely to grow faster than EM exports over the next 15 years. Continue reading »
Some distinctly discouraging numbers out of Asia on Friday. The hoped-for bounce back in Thailand’s exports didn’t happen, and Philippines imports were also down.
So what’s to blame? Global demand or more specific problems? Continue reading »
Import substitution. If you’re the Argentine government, this means substituting locally-made things for imports. If you’re a foreign exporter, this means substituting countries where it’s easier to do business for Argentina.
Chilean forestry company CMPC is one. Continue reading »
By Ian Mount
In most countries, a rising trade surplus is usually greeted as good news. But Argentina’s announcement on Thursday of a better-than-expected 7.2 per cent increase in its January trade surplus to $550m shows such how such assumptions can be deceptive. Continue reading »
Chinese imports fell sharply in January while exports fell slightly but by much less than expected. This doesn’t fit with conventional wisdom. Any slowdown in the west, especially in Europe, should hit Chinese exports. And the booming Chinese economy and increased domestic demand should keep imports up. Right?
Apparently not. Chart of the week takes a look at Chinese trade. Continue reading »
After last year’s controversial increase of a tax on imported vehicles, Brazil unveiled last week proposals for another set of protective measures. The trade ministry has assembled a team to choose up to 100 products on which the government might levy higher import taxes.
The list will be valid until December 2014 and must be approved by the other countries belonging to Latin America’s Mercosul trading bloc. Continue reading »
The IMF World Economic Outlook update released on Tuesday makes pretty ugly reading, as Chris Giles reports in the FT, with world economic growth set to be significantly weaker than previously thought.
But what specifically does it mean for emerging markets? Here are 10 things we have learnt from the IMF report. Continue reading »