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China's June exports and imports both fall, trade outlook dim

Date 15-Jul-2016
Subject China's June exports and imports both fall, trade outlook dim

BEIJING: China's exports fell more than expected in June as global demand remained stubbornly weak and as Britain's decision to leave the European Union clouds the outlook for one of Beijing's biggest markets. Imports also shrank more than forecast, suggesting the impact of a flurry of measures to stimulate growth in the world's second-largest economy may be fading, after encouraging readings in May.

"The uncertainty of Brexit is likely to weigh on demand for China's exports to the EU, similar to the situation when the European debt crisis in 2011-12 intensified," ANZ Economists Raymond Yeung and Louis Lam wrote in a note. "Clearly, China's external outlook will still face tremendous challenges."

Exports fell 4.8 percent in June from a year earlier and were down 7.7 per cent in the first half of 2016, the General Administration of Customs said, adding that China's economy faces increasing downward pressure and the trade situation will be severe this year.

Imports dropped 8.4 percent from a year earlier. That resulted in a trade surplus of $48.11 billion in June, versus forecasts of $46.64 billion and May's $49.98 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had expected June exports to fall 4.1 percent, matching May's decline, and expected imports to fall 5 percent, following May's 0.4 percent dip. The import decline in May was the smallest since late 2014, raising hopes that China's domestic demand was picking up.

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