China trade balance data for August – surplus comes in below median estimate

Trade balance data out from China Sunday will not be viewed as a positive input for China-related risk markets. 

The counter to this is, of course, the expectation of stimulus from China, some of which we have already indeed seen (eg. only on Friday we got news of  the cut to the RRR) and more is forecast.

Yuan terms trade balance data

Surplus for the trade balance of 239.60bn … miss

  • expected CNY 299.3bn, prior was CNY 310.26bn

Exports +2.6% y/y … miss … slowing global growth and US tariffs key points for exports missing

  • expected +6.3%, prior was +10.3%

Imports -2.6% y/y  – falling imports are often associated with domestic economic weakness -this result not as sharp a fall as expected.

  • expected -3.1%, prior was +0.4%

USD terms

China trade balance: $ +34.84

  • expected $ 44.3bn, prior was $ 44.58bn

Exports -1.0% y/y. In USD terms a shrinkage for the month and a miss on positive expectations. There was expected to be ‘front loading’ of exports ahead of further tariffs and the miss is being blamed (at least partially) on this failing to show up. Huh. What if exports were front loaded though and this is the result even after that was done? A possibility?

  • expected +2.2%, prior +3.3%

Imports -5.6% y/y

  • expected -6.4%, prior was -5.3%


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China trade balance (Nov.), exports and imports fall from Oct. and miss median estimates

Trade balance data for November from China

Yuan terms

China trade balance CNY 306.04bn for a beat (note this in yuan, local currency, terms)

  • expected CNY 226.50bn, prior was CNY 233.63bn

Exports +10.2% y/y for a miss

  • expected +13.8%, prior was +20.1%

Imports +7.8% y/y for a miss

  • expected +18.3%, prior was +26.3%

USD terms

China trade balance USD 44.74bn, a beat in USD terms also but do note the fall in both exports and imports in the month in dollar terms

  • expected $ 34.00bn, prior was $ 34.022bn

Exports +5.4% y/y miss

  • expected 9.46%, prior 15.6%

Imports +3.0% y/y miss

  • expected 14.0%, prior was 21.4%

Read the results in yuan or USD terms … both export and imports slumped.Trade wars, eh?

I mentioned on Friday (see link below) this data may well impact on the Australian dollar. Can’t see this as being anything other than a negative input. Perhaps the blow will be cushioned by the fall in the AUD during Friday trade and a close within spitting distance of the week’s low? Or perhaps not!

Its almost as if the market saw this coming 😉

Anyway, there is nothing to be done until markets get underway again on Monday. Enjoy the balance of the your weekend all!


China’s November trade surplus with the US is USD 35.55bn

  • was USD 31.78 bn in October 

For background:

ps. It looks like China’s Nov. inflation data will be published Sunday (9 Dec. 2018) at 0130GMT. I don’t know if I’ll be around for that, day of prayer and all that (now you know I’m full of it 😀 ). But its the trade data the one likely to impact the most.  

  • November CPI expected 2.4%, prior 2.5%
  • November PPI expected 2.7%, prior 3.3%


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