China trade surplus with USA hits record high in June

A worker sorting canned peaches for export at a factory in Xiayi in China's central Henan province

Donald Trump had recently upped the ante by threatening higher tariffs on a colossal $200 billion of Chinese imports. So far, encouraged by strong job growth and expectations of good quarterly earnings reports, USA markets have been strong and the Australian market has reached a 10-year record high.

This added to brewing tensions between the economic superpowers as they stand on the brink of an all-out trade war that Beijing warned would have a "negative impact" globally.

Against this overall background, Australia is in the fortunate position of avoiding a trade dispute with the United States and largely being spared from the impact of the new USA tariffs.

Separate customs data on Friday showed imports of commodities from soybeans to crude oil eased compared with a year ago, but China's steel mills and aluminum smelters sold much more overseas spurred by higher worldwide prices amid growing concerns about slowing demand growth.

China reported a trade surplus of $41.61 billion in June, compared with $24.92 billion in May, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.

Analysts expect shipments growth to slow in the second half of the year, putting more strain on an economy already feeling the pinch from a multi-year debt battle that has driven up corporate borrowing costs.

Investors fear a prolonged trade battle with the United States could harm business confidence and investment, disrupting global supply chains and harming growth in China and the rest of the world.

Earlier this week Donald Trump proposed a 10% tariff on $200bn of Chinese goods entering the USA, saying that tariffs already in place on steel and aluminium imports and $34bn of goods had failed to force significant reforms by Beijing.

In yuan terms, China's exports grew 3.1% in June and imports rose 6.0%. "Not only will Chinese exporters suffer but American consumers as well", she said.

The ministry encouraged companies to increase import of soybean, soymeal, vehicles, aquatic products from other markets.

"So we would be back to square one", Mr Kuo said, with China exporting more to the U.S. than it buys from the country.

Speaking after a regular two-yearly review of China's trade policies at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Wang was sceptical.

China's exports rose 11.3% in June from a year earlier, compared with a 12.6% increase in May, customs data showed.

The surplus was the highest ever with the United States for any single month, according to Reuters calculations based on official data going back to 2008. Its trade surplus with the U.S. over the same period was $133.76bn, up from $117.51bn a year ago. China's trade surplus with the U.S. over the same period was $133.76 billion, up from $117.51 billion past year. The surplus was China's highest since December.

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