China's exports rose 3.5% YoY in April

The increase in exports is led by Japan, Australia, and Taiwan.

China’s exports unexpectedly rose 3.5% YoY in April compared to the forecasted decline of 11.0% and 6.6% in March, according to a report from UOB.

Exports rose across most destinations, led by Japan with a 33% increase, followed by Australia and Taiwan which grew 32% and 20.9%, respectively. Exports to ASEAN maintained growth at 4.2% YoY whilst exports to India crashed by 39.7%.

However, imports declined by 14.2% YoY from the forecasted drop of 10.0% and 0.9% over the same period. As such, the trade surplus widened to $63.96b (US$45.3b) in April from $28.1b (US$19.9b) in March.

China’s imports from key sources were also mostly lower in April, led by a 36.5% decline in Hong Kong, followed by India and UK with a decline of 36.3% and 25.4%, respectively.

In the four months of the year, China’s exports contracted by 9% YoY whilst imports declined by 5.9% YoY. Imports from the US also fell 5.6% YoY whilst exports dropped 18.1% YoY. China’s trade surplus with the US narrowed to $89.75b (US$63.57) year-to-date compared to $117.95b (US$83.54b) a year ago.

The report notes that despite the unexpected gains in April’s exports which was boosted by shipments of medical supplies, the sharp pullback in export orders suggests that near-term trade outlook remains tilted to the downside.

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