Exports to EU, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN have recovered.
Export and import growth of China have surpassed expectations in January as exports bounced back with a 9.1% YoY growth from a 3.3% decline.
According to a report by UOB Kay Hian, exports to EU, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN recovered to 14.5% YoY, 5.6% YoY, 14.0% YoY and 11.5% YoY respectively in January. Exports to the US declined 2.8% YoY.
As for imports, it suffered a 1.5% YoY decline for the second consecutive month, but showed a slight recovery from the 7.6% slip in December last year. Imports from EU and Australia rose 8.5% YoY and 10.6% YoY respectively, which countered the slump in North Asian countries including Japan (-1.1% YoY), South Korea (-11.5% YoY), and Taiwan (-0.2% YoY) as well as from ASEAN (-7.3% YoY).
Overall, trade surplus narrowed to US$39.16b in January from US$57.06b in December.
“Despite the stronger-than-expected export data in January, outlook for China’s trade remains fragile at current stage. Key leading indicators of the manufacturing activities in China which include both the official and Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMIs have stayed in contraction in January,” said Ho Woei Chen, economist at UOB Kay Hian said.
Chen cited manufacturing PMIs from Caixin and Markit that fell by 1.4 points to 48.3 in January. Their growth forecast for the country is at 6.3% in 2019.
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