China Watch Blog has learnt that the pace of China’s June import growth fell to its lowest level in 20 months as tightening monetary policies kicked in, resulting in the biggest monthly trade surplus this year.
China Daily reported, citing economists that the official statistics show import growth is expected to slow in the coming months, thanks to the broad impact of the tightening measures, before picking up in the last quarter.
According to the General Administration of Customs (GAC), imports rose 19.3 percent, from a year earlier, to $139.7 billion, the weakest since November 2009.
Exports rose 17.9 percent and despite this being the smallest increase since last December they reached a record high of $161.9 billion.
The decline in import growth has led to a widening trade surplus, $22.3 billion in June compared to $13.1 billion in May. But in the first six months the trade surplus dropped 18 percent, year-on-year, to $44.9 billion.
“Import growth was weaker than expected, as imports for China’s processing trade weakened and de-stocking in heavy industry continued,” Wang Tao, head of China Economic Research at UBS Securities, said.
“Recent commodity price drops, including crude oil, also helped lower the import bill,” she added.
June’s net imports of crude oil fell 12 percent from May to 19.43 million metric tons, the lowest since October, amid refinery maintenance and slowing energy demand, according to the GAC figures.If you think China Watch Blog's information is useful, click on cup of coffee on left hand side and make a small contribution via PayPal