China '18 trade surplus with United States at record $323B

Roman Schwartz
January 14, 2019

Imports increased 15.8 percent past year, resulting in a trade surplus of $351.76 billion, the country's lowest since 2013.

Trade turnover between Russian Federation and China soared by almost 30 percent in 2018, reaching a record number of $107.06 billion, according to the latest report released by China's General Administration of Customs (GAC). Imports of American goods rose just 0.7 percent over 2017.

Customs data showed that Chinese exports rose 11.3 percent in 2018 to $478.4 billion, while imports from the U.S. only rose by 0.7 percent.

Traditionally China imports vast quantities of American soybeans in the second half of the year, long making it the most valuable import from the US.

The Customs office is expected to release trade numbers for December later in the day. That reflects the impact of Beijing's retaliatory tariffs and encouragement to importers to buy more from non-U.S. suppliers.

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The move was widely seen as retaliation for Canada's arrest of a top Chinese executive from telecom giant Huawei . Schellenberg was detained more than four years ago and initially sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed China's trade surplus with the US and the country's allegedly unfair trade practices.

The cost of producing goods in China's factories slowed sharply in December, a sign demand remains weak, while consumer inflation also flagged.

China's politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States surged to a record $323.3 billion in 2018 as a tariff battle with Washington intensified.

Official data also showed the manufacturing sector contracted in December for the first time in more than two years.

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