The South China Morning Post has an interesting article highlighting that July’s export results from China were likely skewed as U.S. companies proactively made purchases to take advantage of Beijing’s currency devaluation in combination with filling inventory ahead of the U.S. holiday needs.
Additionally, August export results from China show an actual drop in exports, falling 16 percent year-over-year from decreased U.S. orders:
SCMP – China’s exports fell unexpectedly in August, as the trade war with the United States continued to hit the world’s second-largest economy.
Shipments fell by 1 per cent in the month after growing 3.3 per cent in July in dollar terms, and below the 2.1 per cent growth expected by analysts in a Bloomberg poll. Imports in the month dropped by 5.6 per cent, leaving a trade surplus of US$34.84 billion, according to China’s General Administration of Customs.
July’s expansion now seems like an anomaly, likely driven by front-loading as new tariffs of 15 per cent on about US$110 billion of Chinese goods that took effect on September 1. American buyers of Chinese goods subject to the new tariffs were likely to have filled their inventories as much as possible before the goods became more expensive to import.
Furthermore, the much-reported 3.8 per cent depreciation of the yuan in August failed to stop the decline in exports – despite Washington’s fears that it was being used to give China’s exporters an unfair advantage. (read more)
[…] Among its major trade partners, China’s August exports to the United States fell 16% year-on-year, slowing sharply from a decline of 6.5% in July. Imports from America slumped 22.4%.
Many analysts expect export growth to slow further in coming months, as evidenced by worsening export orders in both official and private factory surveys. More U.S. tariff measures will take effect on Oct. 1 and Dec. 15.
“China-U.S. trade friction has led to a sharp decline in China’s exports to the United States,” said Steven Zhang, chief economist and head of research at Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities.
Exports to Europe, South Korea, Australia, and Southeast Asia also worsened on an annual basis, compared with July, while shipments to Japan and Taiwan posted slightly better growth than the previous month.
Sunday’s data also showed China’s imports shrank for the fourth consecutive month since April. Imports dropped 5.6% on-year in August, slightly less than an expected 6.0% fall and unchanged from July’s 5.6% decline. (read more)