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China February exports post record surge from COVID-19-depressed 2020 levels

Economic IndicatorsMar 07, 2021 06:20AM ET
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© Reuters. Cranes and containers are seen at the Yantian port in Shenzhen, following the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's February exports grew at a record pace from a year earlier when COVID-19 battered the world's second-biggest economy, customs data showed on Sunday, while imports rose less sharply.

Exports in dollar terms skyrocketed 154.9% in February compared with a year earlier, while imports gained 17.3%, the most since October 2018. The data did not include figures for January alone.

In the January-February period, exports jumped 60.6% from a year earlier, when lockdowns to contain the pandemic paralysed the country's economic activity. That exceeded the forecast of analysts in a Reuters poll for a 38.9% surge.

Strong exports, which benefited from China's success in largely containing the public health crisis, have helped fuel the country's recovery from a pandemic-induced paralysis.

The surge was driven by a rebound in foreign demand, customs said in a statement on its website, citing improvements in manufacturing industries in the European Union and the United States, and their increased imports of Chinese products thanks to fiscal stimulus measures.

"In addition, a majority of manufacturing employees (in China) chose to stay put over the Lunar New Year holidays," the statement said. "Our survey showed a lot of firms in export-oriented provinces stayed open, and orders that usually only get delivered after the new year had been delivered normally."

Chinese factory activity usually goes dormant during the Lunar New Year break, which fell in the middle of February this year, as workers return to their hometowns. This year, the government appealed to workers to avoid travelling to curb the risk of a spread of the coronavirus.

In January-February, imports increased 22.2% from a year earlier, above the 15% forecast, partly due to stockpiling of semiconductors and energy products, according to customs.

China posted a trade surplus of $103.25 billion for the first two months. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to narrow to $60.15 billion from $78.17 billion in December.

'NORMAL YEARS'

In yuan terms, exports rose 50.1% in the two months from a year earlier, while imports gained 14.5%.

"Due to the impact of the new coronavirus, overall trade (in yuan terms) in January-February last year fell 9.7%, and the low base was one of the reasons for the larger increase this year," customs said. "But even when compared with normal years, such as the comparable periods in 2018 and 2019, growth in China's overall trade was around 20%."

China's economy expanded 2.3% last year, helped by solid demand for Chinese-made goods such as medical and work-from-home equipment, although the growth was its weakest in 44 years.

This year, China has set a modest growth target of at least 6%, planning a careful course out of a year disrupted by COVID-19 and amid heightened tensions with the United States.

China's trade surplus with the United States stood at $51.26 billion in January-February. Chinese customs did not give a monthly breakdown. The surplus was $29.92 billion in December.

Katherine Tai, President Joe Biden's nominee to be U.S. trade representative, said last week she would work to fight a range of "unfair" Chinese trade and economic practices.

China February exports post record surge from COVID-19-depressed 2020 levels
 

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Comments (15)
Viking Fire
Viking Fire Mar 07, 2021 2:23PM ET
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As countries study their supply lines since communist china failed and lied durring covid and communist china grows more hostile and aggressive countries will start using outhers for their supplies. India is going to a large share setting china into decline over the next century.
David David
David9 Mar 07, 2021 2:23PM ET
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The data does not support this. 95% of companies still chooses China. China is the biggest market. In 10 years, 33% of international trades belongs to China. China will be 3 or 4 times bigger than US in the future, follow by US, and then India. The projector is China will raise and raise higher...
Clam Chowder
Clam Chowder Mar 07, 2021 10:03AM ET
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China number one!
Viking Fire
Viking Fire Mar 07, 2021 10:03AM ET
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China is so bad even their citizens like you prefer to spend their time on american websitess lol
Lake Lot
Lake Lot Mar 07, 2021 10:03AM ET
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Number one what !
Lake Lot
Lake Lot Mar 07, 2021 10:03AM ET
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Chinko
michael engel
michael engel Mar 07, 2021 6:13AM ET
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HK is done. China wants Taiwan. Taiwan is China bellybutton. After taking over Taiwan, are no more unsinkable air craft carriers between China and US
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Viking Fire
Viking Fire Mar 07, 2021 6:13AM ET
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David David china recognizes that. Taiwan does not. Get a clue.
David David
David9 Mar 07, 2021 6:13AM ET
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Not just China...99% of the world recognized Taiwan as not a country... there are like under 3 small countries that recognizes Taiwan as separate, that's it...
David David
David9 Mar 07, 2021 6:13AM ET
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This is very simple... I ask you why Taiwan can't join the WHO as independent, why Olympic games Taiwan is shown as China, Taiwan... this just show Taiwan is not a country but something under China.
michael engel
michael engel Mar 07, 2021 6:13AM ET
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David David  Carrie Lam became a Chinese concubine. Su Tseng-chang isn't.
David David
David9 Mar 07, 2021 6:13AM ET
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I don't know what you mean C. Lam became a concubine? It seems to me she is doing a very good job currently...
Viking Fire
Viking Fire Mar 07, 2021 6:07AM ET
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This is likely the peak for china. Since they threatened countries with supply lines and covid countries are seeking alternate ones to stop using china. China will be in decline this century as other less hostile and aggressive nations move up. India being one.
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David David
David9 Mar 07, 2021 6:07AM ET
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But the data shows otherwise... 95% still choose China. It is natural for companies to move some of their businesses out to South East Asia but that is small. China spent trillions in their infrastructure so it is very hard for another country just to take the production away from China. China will remain the World's factory for the foreseeable future...
Roland Hara
Roland Hara Mar 07, 2021 6:07AM ET
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Viking Fire its futile having a rational conversation with David9. He is a paid China troll. He dowsnt get that contries are going to leave China behind bc they lie and suppress their ppl. If China was a democracy they would by far be the biggest and best economy in the world.
Vijay Malhotra
Vijay Malhotra Mar 07, 2021 6:07AM ET
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It will be very difficult for any country to beat China in manufacturing. The chinese will end up setting up factories in India which will benefit them more than India.
Artem Aleksenko
Artem Aleksenko Mar 07, 2021 6:07AM ET
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Roland Hara You can build an empire on slave labor but eventually you have to grant individual freedom. The more prosperity you build, the more pressure builds to emancipate the masses. China will inevitible go through this, just like every slave-built empire before it.
Artem Aleksenko
Artem Aleksenko Mar 07, 2021 6:07AM ET
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David David is focused on gaining international respect, but he should probably focus on the respect of his own people. Maybe the Chinese deserve more than be working bees for the government agenda? Maybe there is more to life than having a factory job?
michael engel
michael engel Mar 07, 2021 6:00AM ET
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1) China encourage their labor force to do their job during the year of the ox vacation. 2) The us gov pay people to stay home and make love. 3) A single woman with 4 kids will get 5 x $1,400 = $7,000, because love is a viable alternative to the job market.
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Mar 07, 2021 5:31AM ET
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first people start getting loans. Now the countries. Some of them take a loan and give it to their populations. But there's no space to continue. Though maybe they flied to Mars to find a lender?
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Mar 07, 2021 5:11AM ET
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China will make the USA its beeatch
Bj Is
Bj Is Mar 07, 2021 2:44AM ET
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Trump made America - GREAT BORROWER AGAIN :)
YC Teng
YC Teng Mar 07, 2021 1:28AM ET
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Fascinating... Witness the awaking of the deep slumber Dragon 🐉🐉
David David
David9 Mar 07, 2021 1:28AM ET
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Trump has Awaken the Sleeping Dragon...
David David
David9 Mar 07, 2021 1:13AM ET
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I followed China closely... China is the Real Deal... they got something special.... Buffett said, China has found their secret sauce...
Joe Lock
Joe Lock Mar 07, 2021 12:56AM ET
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lf the US falls, China falls 3 times worse
David David
David9 Mar 07, 2021 12:56AM ET
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How is that possible... please show us your math...
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 10:59PM ET
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I told you guys... China is the Lion. China once again will lead the world out of depression. And yet all we hear is to blame China...
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perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Mar 06, 2021 10:59PM ET
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cheap plastic lion
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Mar 06, 2021 10:59PM ET
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Laura Blumberg  communist US are givinin around money, chineese at least try to earn it
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 10:59PM ET
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This ain't no plastic Lion... this Lion has real fangs...
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 10:59PM ET
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Christopher Sebastian lol... you read the fake report from Adrian Zenz?
Artem Aleksenko
Artem Aleksenko Mar 06, 2021 10:59PM ET
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Lion’s fang broke after a week and had to be thrown out because of cheap plastic
Art Fire
Art Fire Mar 06, 2021 10:52PM ET
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The world is opening back up. Exciting times ahead!
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Mar 06, 2021 10:52PM ET
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the world is in deep national debts. That's definitly exciting.
Sol Wein
Sol Wein Mar 06, 2021 10:34PM ET
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US trade deficit is the largest in history and no one is paying attention to it. It will matter soon enough.
Art Fire
Art Fire Mar 06, 2021 10:34PM ET
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I find it strange so many from  China spend their time on English/American websites rather than their own. They don't even like their their own country's stuff
Daniel Lu
Daniel Lu Mar 06, 2021 10:34PM ET
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Art Fire Singpore uses bilingual language and it has plenty of financial experts speaking both Chinese and English. And it happens that they are watching this sector of economy growth in China. Besides, China is not equvalent to its political party and what’s going on in there could be still fascinating to some other democratic regions
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 10:34PM ET
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Art Fire I am an American.
Roland Hara
Roland Hara Mar 06, 2021 10:34PM ET
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David David You are an impersonator. You are a paid china troll.
Danny Gravel
Danny Gravel Mar 06, 2021 10:23PM ET
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Market will be flyin high next week
 
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