US, China trade war might end soon, Asia expert says

Trump says Chinese 'lived too well for too long'

China enjoyed a record high $34.1 billion trade surplus with the U.S.in September, taking the surplus for the year to date to $225.8 billion, according to Chinese statistics released on Friday.

Customs data on Friday showed growth in Chinese imports of USA goods decelerated to 9 percent over a year earlier.

Export numbers have been buoyed by producers rushing to fill orders before American tariffs rose, but they also benefit from "robust US demand" and a weaker Chinese currency, which makes their goods cheaper overseas, Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics said in a report.

For the first nine months, crude oil imports into China rose 6 percent on the year to 8.98 million bpd, or a total of 336 million tons, which is in line with projections about Chinese oil demand, despite worry that demand would slow down this year because of a domestic fuel glut.

An opportunity for talks between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could come during the Group of 20 leaders' summit in Buenos Aires in late November, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"We expect both to soften in the coming quarters", he said.

September marked the second straight record Chinese monthly trade surplus with the United States after August's $31 billion.

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"The big picture is the Chinese exports have so far held up well in the face of escalating trade tensions and cooling global growth, most likely thanks to the competitiveness boost provided by a weaker renminbi (yuan)", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

"They lived too well for too long", Trump said of the Chinese during his Fox News interview.

The trade feud has been fueled by USA accusations that China coerces foreign companies into handing over technology in return for access to the Chinese market, as well as by China's trade surplus with the U.S. "Their economy has gone down very substantially and I have a lot more to do if I want to do it".

"I don't want to do it, but they have to come to the table".

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - in comments published in the Financial Times this week - warned China against engaging in competitive currency devaluations.

The yuan has lost almost 10 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar this year.

He said that in the discussions he had with the Chinese, they had made clear that they didn't see a further weakening of the Chinese yuan as being in their interests.

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