China’s import unexpectedly contracted by -8.5% yoy in May. That’s the large contraction since July 2016, indicating underlying weakness in the economy. Exports did unexpectedly rose 1.1% yoy. But that was likely because of front-loading ahead of new US tariffs. Trade surplus, thus, widened to USD 41.7B. Meanwhile, trade with US continued to deteriorate. From January to May, imports dropped US dropped -29.6% yoy while, exports dropped -8.4% yoy, leaving a surplus at USD 110.5B.

In May, in USD term:

  • Exports rose 1.1% yoy to USD 213.9B.
  • Imports dropped -8.5% yoy to USD 172.2B.
  • Total trade dropped -3.4% yoy to USD 386.0B.
  • Trade surplus came in at USD 41.7B, above expectation of USD 23.2B.

From January to May:

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  • Exports rose 0.4% yoy to USD 985.3B.
  • Imports dropped -3.7% yoy to USD 827.9B.
  • Total trade dropped -1.6% yoy to USD 1786.2B.
  • Trade surplus was at USD 130.5B.

With EU, YTD:

  • Exports rose 8.0% yoy to USD 167.2B.
  • Imports rose 2.4% yoy to USD 112.9B
  • Total trade rose 5.7% yoy to USD 280.1B.
  • Trade surplus was at USD 54.3B.

With US, YTD:

  • Exports dropped -8.4% yoy to USD 160.1B.
  • Imports dropped -29.6% yoy to USD 49.6B.
  • Total trade dropped -14.5% yoy to USD 209.7B.
  • Trade surplus was at USD 110.5B.

With AU, YTD:

  • Exports rose 3.1% yoy to USD 18.3B.
  • Imports rose 7.7% yoy to USD 46.7B.
  • Total trade rose 6.4% yoy to USD 64.9B.
  • Trade deficit was at USD -28.4B.

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