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China's August exports unexpectedly shrink as USA shipments slump

China's August exports unexpectedly shrink as USA shipments slump

Exports decreased 1% in dollar terms from a year earlier, while imports declined 5.6%, leaving a trade surplus of $34.84 billion, the customs administration said Sunday.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last Friday that the US wants "near-term" results from US-China trade talks in this month and next, but cautioned that the trade conflict could take years to resolve.

China's exports fell by 1% year-on-year in August, official data showed Sunday, amid a bruising trade war with the U.S. that has roiled markets in the world's top two economies. Meanwhile, imports from the United States slumped 22.4%.

Chinese demand, however, has been dampened by a year-old outbreak of deadly African swine fever in the world's top pig producer.

For the first eight months of 2019, exports were off 1 percent compared to a year earlier and imports down 5.6 percent.

That's despite analyst expectations that a falling yuan would offset some cost pressure and looming tariffs may have prompted some Chinese exporters to bring forward or "front-load" US -bound shipments into August, a trend seen earlier in the trade dispute.

China's trade surplus with the US shrunk to $31.3 billion in August, down $27 billion from a year prior.

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That led Washington to dub Beijing "a currency manipulator".

Talks between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this summer ended without a deal. The year-on-year data were released as a long-running trade spat between the two world powers showed no sign of ending, despite face-to-face negotiations in Shanghai in July.

The two sides have agreed to hold further discussions in Washington in early October, later than expected.

Washington imposed new tariffs on Sept 1 as it stepped up its high-pressure campaign to coerce Beijing into a new trade deal. That would extend penalties to nearly everything the United States buys from China.

Chinese exports increased by 2.6 per cent, while imports fell by the same percentage. "Add in the inevitable fall-off when USA shipments finally catch up with 15% and 30% tariffs, and it's an ugly picture". So, the fact that they buy things 15 percent cheaper means China is paying for indeed the tariff because when you look at the net economics, it's not costing USA companies anything because of the depreciation.

China has taken a series of other retaliatory measures against the US, canceling purchases of soybeans, which is the biggest USA export to China, while imposing or announcing penalties on roughly $120 billion of USA imports.

The latest Chinese figures reflected the possible delayed impact of a USA tariff hike on July 6.