China Dec imports from North Korea down 81.6 pct y/y - China customs

China Dec imports from North Korea down 81.6 pct y/y - China customs

China's exports denominated in yuan rose 10.8 percent year-on-year in 2017, the General Administration of Customs said on Friday.

Demand for Chinese products is holding up as growth in major trade partners remains intact, and a feared trade war between China and the U.S. has yet to materialise.

China held a $275.9-billion trade surplus with the US last year, up roughly 10% from 2016.

For the month of December, the change was even more dramatic: Overall trade for that month fell 50.6 percent from the same period in 2016. Russian Federation estimated in 2016 that the annual trade flows between the two world powers were at $66.1 billion.

The rush to export over the last two months of 2017 was spurred by additional quotas from the government.

As North Korea's biggest trading partner and main source of aid, China holds influence over the pariah state.

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"China's exports may continue to benefit from global recovery this year", said Ding Shuang, chief economist for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered in Hong Kong.

The "continued strength of China's exports to the USA ... is bound to add to U.S".

China's exports for the full year rose 7.9 percent, the fastest rate since 2013, while imports gained 15.9 percent, the best since 2011.

"Although the trade data are often volatile, this latest decline? the largest in nearly two years? is a sign that domestic demand may have weakened at the end of last year", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China Economist at Capital Economics. "In contrast, import growth slowed sharply, raising questions over the state of domestic demand", Julian Evans-Pritchard, an analyst with research firm Capital Economics in Singapore, said in a note.

In December, China's exports jumped 10.9% from a year ago to $231.8 billion, down from a 12.3% pace in the previous month.

The December data show China has implemented a series of UN Security Council resolutions this year, targeting the North's most profitable exports. That could mean softening demand for imports as Chinese businesses and consumers tighten their belts.

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