China’s exports, imports weak in March

BEIJING — China returned to a trade surplus in March but growth in exports and imports was weak as U.S. and European economic woes and a Chinese slowdown weighed on consumer demand.

Exports rose 8.9 percent over a year earlier to $165.6 billion, while imports grew 5.3 percent to $160.3 billion, trade data showed Tuesday.

That growth was below China’s double-digit levels in recent years but in line with the combined January-February period, which analysts look at to screen out the impact of the Lunar New Year holiday, when companies close for a week or more.

Chinese demand has weakened following government controls imposed to cool inflation and steer the growth of the world’s second-largest economy to a more sustainable level after 2010’s explosive double-digit expansion.

Growth eased to 8.9 percent in the final quarter of 2011 after Beijing tightened lending and investment curbs. Analysts expect growth to fall still further in this year’s first quarter. Data on that are due to be released this week.

China’s flagging demand is a bad sign for Australia, Brazil and Asian economies that count on Chinese customers to buy oil, iron ore and industrial components.

The drop in export demand triggered by Europe’s problems last year prompted Chinese leaders to reverse course in December and promise more bank lending to shore up economic growth. There have been few major steps but analysts say Beijing is quietly expanding access to credit.

China’s global trade surplus was $5.3 billion, a turnaround from February’s rare monthly deficit of $31.5 billion. The country usually records one large monthly trade deficit early in the year as factories restock after the holiday break.

Export growth in January-February was 6.9 percent, while import growth was 7.7 percent.

China’s trade surplus with the 27-nation European Union, its biggest trading partner, fell 15 percent to $8.1 billion, reflecting the continent’s weak demand as it struggles with government debt problems.

The politically volatile trade surplus with the United States expanded by 28 percent to $16.6 billion.

Chinese imports of crude oil, soybeans and other basic commodities rose in a sign of continued consumer demand. But purchases of metals and other industrial materials were off as manufacturers responded to lower foreign orders by cutting purchases.

Imports of rubber were down 26.4 percent from a year earlier and raw steel down 24.8 percent.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Body found in impounded car in Lake Stevens

In June, Bothell police impounded the vehicle. Last week, a Lake Stevens business found a body inside.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
California woman dies after motorcycle crash west of Lake Stevens

Kimberly Moore was the passenger on a motorcycle Friday morning. She died the next night. She was 53.

A view of the proposed alternative station location to Everett Station located east of the current BNSF rail tracks in downtown. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and over railroad work?

A group representing people around Everett Station wants Sound Transit to study the idea.

State Representative Robert Sutherland, left, gives a thumbs-up to passing drivers as he and a few volunteers wave flags and campaign signs along the side of State Route 9 on July 22, in Lake Stevens. Sam Low, right, talks with seniors on July 20 in Lake Stevens. (Sutherland photo by Ryan Berry / The Herald, Low photo by Kevin Clark / The Herald)
In GOP battle of Sutherland vs. Low, Democrats may tip the scale

The state lawmaker and Snohomish County council member are vying for a House seat. Democrats make up roughly 40% of the vote.

Chocolate peanut butter Incredibles

These chocolate peanut butter bars are, as the name suggests, incredible.

SnoTown Brewing’s Frank Sandoval in 2019. (Aaron Swaney)
SnoTown Brewery owner charged with child molestation

Frank Sandoval conceded his conduct with a girl at his brewery was inappropriate, but he denied touching her sexually, charges say.

Head-on crash in Everett leaves man with life-threatening injuries

A two-vehicle collision in the 11600 block of Evergreen Way shut down southbound traffic Monday morning.

Members of Casino Connect line up to stow luggage Tuesday morning aboard the Adventuress in Everett on August 9, 2022.  The teens will go on a four-day sailing trip where they learn about maritime skills and environmental science. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Casino Road teens on tall ship Adventuress set sail for 4-day voyage

The Everett at Sea program offers outdoor, on-the-water lessons that “underserved youth” might not get otherwise.

Jason Moon, new member of Mukilteo City Council and the first Korean American. He was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Joe Marine, who was elected mayor.
(Submitted photo)
Free food, fun at Korean American Appreciation Day in Mukilteo

City Councilmember Jason Moon organized the Aug. 13 event to connect people of all cultures.

Most Read