Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

China 2017 trade surplus with US tops $275bn to record high

China 2017 trade surplus with US tops $275bn to record high

"China's foreign trade continued to build on a solid foundation for steady growth, its potential being gradually unleashed", said customs spokesman Huang Songping.

In November, China imported no iron ore, coal or lead from North Korea, the second full month of the United Nations trade sanctions.

Imports for the whole of 2017 jumped 27 percent from 2016 to a record of 68.57 million tonnes. Imports missed analysts' forecast of 13.0 percent growth and were a sharp decrease from the 17.7 percent rise in the previous month.

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The penalties that came into force on September 5 previous year banned countries from buying coal, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood from North Korea.

China's exports rose 7.9 per cent to US$2.26 trillion a year ago, leading the world once again, while imports climbed 15.9 per cent to US$1.84 trillion, according to customs data. That was down 12 percent from November's 9.01 million bpd, the second-highest level on record.

"Given no big surge in fuel exports and mild stock builds in strategic (crude oil) reserves, the crude data points to under-estimates in domestic fuel productions", Tee said.

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"We have...long expected China's domestic demand and imports to slow in 2018 on gradually tighter monetary and financial policies and slower real estate activity momentum", Louis Kuijs, an economist with research firm Oxford Economics, said in a note.

Full-year shipments rose 5 percent to a record high of 1.075 billion tonnes, exceeding 1 billion tonnes for a second year. Australia on Monday said it expects iron ore prices to average $51.50 a tonne this year, down 20 percent from 2017, because of rising global supply and moderating demand from top importer China as its steel sector shrinks.

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With the plan to heat millions of homes with the fuel proving overambitious, and leading to shortages, there was also a 3.2 percent month-on-month boost in coal imports in December after the government eased restrictions on imports to keep the country warm.

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