China's Exports Continue To Fall

China Trade 120815

China's exports declined for the fifth straight month on weak global demand, while imports dropped less than expected in November, official data showed Tuesday.

Exports decreased 6.8 percent in November from last year, the General Administration of Customs reported. Shipments were forecast to drop at a slightly slower pace of 5 percent after falling 6.9 percent in October.

At the same time, imports slid 8.7 percent annually, but better than an expected decline of 11.6 percent and an 18.8 percent fall seen in October.

Nonetheless, the trade surplus fell unexpectedly to $54.1 billion from $61.6 billion in October. It was forecast to rise to $63.5 billion in November.

The government aims to achieve around 6 percent growth in foreign trade.

In yuan denominated terms, exports showed an annual fall of 3.7 percent and imports shrank 5.6 percent in November.

Although disappointing exports data suggest that foreign demand remains subdued, a recovery in imports hints at a policy driven pick-up in domestic demand, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Stronger growth in China's main trading partners ought to shore up exports while a policy drive rebound in investment spending will boost imports, the economist added.

A report from the People's Bank of China showed Monday that the foreign exchange reserves declined to its lowest level since February 2013 as the bank sold yuan to stabilize the currency exchange rate.

Foreign exchange reserves decreased by $87.2 billion to $3.44 trillion at the end of November.

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