Economy

China's trade surplus with the U.S. hit record highs in September

China's trade surplus with the U.S. hit record highs in September”

China's vast export engine unexpectedly kicked into higher gear in September, producing a record trade surplus with the United States that could exacerbate the already-heated dispute between Beijing and Washington.

But China's trade surplus with the U.S. grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China's customs administration.

President Trump has warned China that Washington is taking measures to curb the exporting of nuclear technology to China, adding that Americans were not "stupid", AFP reports as the Department of Energy released yesterday a set of measures "to prevent China's illegal diversion of us civil nuclear technology for military or other unauthorized purposes".

China's overall export growth accelerated, temporarily defying forecasts of a slowdown as the global economy and consumer demand cool.

Beijing's export data has been surprisingly resilient to tariffs, possibly because companies ramped up shipments before broader and stiffer USA duties went into effect, raising concerns about a sharper drop in export strength once all tariffs kick in.

The yuan has lost almost 10 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar this year.

Analysts said last month's strong export growth - which might indicate USA tariffs are not biting much yet - is unlikely to be sustained.

That's significantly higher than the $196 billion recorded between January and September previous year. When President Trump first hit China with 25 per cent tariffs on $50 billion of exports in June, Beijing retaliated with $50 billion of tariffs of its own.

"With global growth likely to cool further in the coming quarters and U.S. tariffs set to become more punishing, the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained".

In an interview on "Fox & Friends", Trump said his slapping billions of dollars of tariffs on Chinese goods has forced them to try to make a deal.

"I have a lot more to do if I want to do it".

China posted a larger trade surplus of $31.69 billion for the month. But sellers of factory machinery and other more advanced exports express confidence they can keep their market share.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - in comments published in the Financial Times this week - warned China against engaging in competitive currency devaluations. The Journal reported the Trump administration in recent days told Beijing it will go ahead with the meeting, which China has been hoping could help ease the escalating trade tensions.

The International Monetary Fund this week cited the trade war as it lowered its 2019 growth forecast for China, which is set to see its slowest expansion since 1990.

The IMF has also lowered estimates for the United States and the global economy as a whole.



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