China to 'immediately' apply measures agreed in trade truce with US

Galtero Lara
Diciembre 8, 2018

Analysts say the export data showed that the "front-loading" impact as firms rushed out shipments to beat planned USA tariff hikes faded, and that export growth is likely to slow further as demand cools.

But Trump again sought to paint the talks in a more positive light, highlighting a report from Bloomberg that "Chinese officials have begun preparing to restart imports of U.S. Soybeans & Liquified Natural Gas" that were put on hold as a result of the president's initial tariffs.

Imports grew 3 per cent, widening China's trade surplus to US$44.7 billion from US$34 billion. Imports of iron ore fell for a second time, reflecting waning restocking demand at steel-mills as profit margins narrow.

The Ministry of Commerce said Thursday China will immediately start implementing agreements on agricultural products, energy and cars that were reached at the weekend summit between Chinese and USA leaders over their ongoing trade dispute.

The commerce ministry's remarks came days after US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to give negotiators 90 days to resolve their trade spat.

China's exports increased far less than expected in November, apparently indicating that slowing global demand outweighed any gains from a rush to ship goods to the United States ahead of a now-postponed January 1 increase in Washington's import tariffs. November's China numbers might add a sense of urgency.

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President Donald Trump, right, has dinner with China's President Xi Jinping, left and members of their delegation at the end of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 01, 2018.

"China talks are going very well", Trump said on Twitter, without providing any details. Many economists attributed to strength in recent months to front-loading of cargoes to the United States in anticipation of even higher tariffs.

Also, the Chinese yuan has weakened more than 5 percent against the dollar so far this year, helping to make Chinese products more competitive overseas.

China's trade surplus with the U.S. rose to a new high of US$35.5 billion last month as businesses raced to prepare for a threatened increase in tariffs over the new year.

The U.S. worldwide trade deficit in goods and services increased to $55.5 billion in October from $54.6 billion in September, according to Census Bureau data.

Yang Yewei, an analyst at Southwest Securities in Beijing, said that as global demand cools, "domestic growth-boosting measures should be more effective".

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