China exports spike despite pandemic, trade war with US

Photo: AP

China has reported one of the biggest trade surpluses in 2020 despite political pressure linked to the confrontation with US over customs tariffs war and global slowdown driven by Coved-19 pandemic. The trade surplus reached to $535bn, AP reported.

Early lockdowns helped China manage the pandemic and gain speed in reopening economy for business.

The 2020 exports rose by 3.6% over 2019 to $2,6 trillion, an improvement on the previous year’s 0,5% gain, customs data showed. Imports meanwhile edged down 1.1% to just over $2 trillion, but growth was strong in the second half after China became the first major economy to revive following the pandemic.

The country’s key exports to the US were up 7,9% over 2019 to $45,2 billion despite tariff hikes on most Chinese goods by the administration of the outgoing president Donald Imports of US goods were up 9.8% to $13,5 billion, boosted by Beijing’s promise as part of a truce in that conflict to buy more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports.

The election of Joe Biden to succeed President Donald Trump has raised questions about the future of Trump’s fight with Beijing. Economists and political analysts expect few changes due to widespread frustration in Washington with China’s record on trade and human rights and complaints about technology theft and spying.

China is on track to be the only major economy to grow in 2020 while activity in the United States, Europe and Japan falls. Chinese imports are growing faster by volume than by value as prices of oil and other commodities sank after anti-virus curbs on travel and business depressed global demand.

Also in 2020, exports to Europe rose 6.7% to $39,1 billion despite anti-virus controls that shut down travel and business in major markets. Imports of European goods rose 2.3%, giving China a surplus of $13,3 billion.

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