China’s exports hold up despite US tariffs

New buses lined ready export at a port in Lianyungang, east China’s Jiangsu province. (AFP)
Updated 08 November 2018
0

China’s exports hold up despite US tariffs

  • China’s exports to the US surged 13.2 percent in October from the same period last year
  • ‘Trade tensions will be a lingering concern for the global economy’

BEIJING: China’s exports to the US and the rest of the world grew more than expected in October, official data showed Thursday, as its traders apparently rushed shipments across the Pacific ahead of higher tariffs.
Relations between the world’s top two economies have soured sharply this year as US President Donald Trump slapped roughly half of Chinese imports with higher taxes.
Top Chinese officials are currently in Washington, with hopes that those talks could pave the way for a breakthrough on trade later this month when Trump meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina.
Still, in October exporters continued to hurry goods across the Pacific, with China’s exports to the US surging 13.2 percent from the same period last year, according to the data released by China’s customs administration.
“October’s surprisingly strong export performance seems to have been partly due to a continuous front-loading effect and is unlikely to be a long-term trend,” said Betty Wang, China economist at ANZ.
China’s trade surplus with the US fell to $31.8 billion in October, from a record $34.1 billion in September.
October marked the first full month of US tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods — but the tax rate is set to jump from 10 percent to 25 percent come January.
Trump has repeatedly boasted the US could not lose a trade war with China, but Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs on American goods have been more damaging so far.
China’s imports from the US fell 1.8 percent in October on-year, while its surplus with the US expanded to $258 billion for the first 10 months of the year.
Analysts estimate the upcoming meeting of the two heads of state will fail to resolve the friction.
“We do not expect the sideline meeting of Xi and Trump during the G20 would be positive,” said Iris Pang of ING Bank.
“We just hope that the meeting won’t create further damage to the trade relationship,” Pang told Bloomberg News.
China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries including the US — logged a $34 billion surplus for the month.
Exports jumped 15.6 percent for October on-year, beating the 11.7 percent forecast by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 21.4 percent on-year, well above the forecast 14.5 percent.
“While shipments to the US held up well, those to other parts of the world grew even faster,” said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics.
“Global demand may be holding up better than feared, while a weaker Chinese yuan is also helping the country’s exporters.”
Robust imports showed China’s economy remained stable despite posting 6.5 percent GDP growth in the third quarter — its slowest pace for nine years.
Beijing could be pulling up from its campaign to tackle mounting debt which weighed heavily on growth, analysts said.
“Robust imports, especially commodities, could be an indication of a rebound in infrastructure investment and a stabilization of the property market,” said ANZ’s Wang.
Despite the resilient trade data, analysts forecast the US-China feud will hit growth in coming months.
“Trade tensions will be a lingering concern for the global economy,” Wang said.


Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

Updated 22 April 2019
0

Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

  • Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the US, Samsung has instead received brickbats
  • The hashtag #foldgate trended on Twitter because of the smartphone issues

SEOUL: Smartphone maker Samsung postponed media events for its Galaxy Fold planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a company official said, days after reviewers of the foldable handset reported defective samples.
The official did not elaborate on reasons or rescheduling.
Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the United States, the South Korean conglomerate has been blighted by technology journalists reporting breaks, bulges and blinking screens after using their samples for as little as a day.
Samsung said it received “a few” reports of damage to the displays of samples of the $1,980 handset, raising the specter of the combustible Galaxy Note 7 three years ago which the firm ultimately pulled from shelves at massive cost.
The reviewers’ reports of broken screens went viral online and prompted the creation of hashtag #foldgate on Twitter.
Samsung has hailed the folding design as the future in a field that has seen few surprises since Apple’s iPhone in 2007. Chinese rival Huawei Technologies has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X.
The Samsung official on Monday said it had no change to its previously announced release date in the United States.
It plans to begin South Korean and European sales in May, and Chinese sales from an undisclosed date.