Russia’s trade with China surges to more than $107 billion

Anna Jefferson
January 16, 2019

Another reason for the trade deficit's jump past year is that USA firms may have hiked their imports of Chinese goods in reaction to Mr. Trump's threat to increase tariffs before he postponed them until March in a December decision.

Softening demand in the country is already being felt around the world, with slowing sales of products ranging from iPhones to automobiles prompting profit warnings from the likes of Apple and Jaguar Land Rover.

Traditionally China imports vast quantities of American soybeans in the second half of the year - but the buying fell off after China hit United States soybeans with a 25 per cent retaliatory import tariff this summer.

For the month, imports also unexpectedly contracted, falling 7.6 percent, the biggest decline since July 2016.

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"Both countries need to think seriously about how to deal with technology, since areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, electronic components and telecommunications have both economic and also national security implications", he said.

"Meanwhile, with policy easing unlikely to put a floor beneath domestic economic activity until the second half of this year, import growth is likely to remain subdued".

China's trade surplus with the United States rose dramatically in 2018, despite a tit-for-tat tariff war with the USA that has roiled global markets.

That compared with about US$275.81 billion in 2017.

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The trade surplus of China has decreased in the past year, in trade with the United States but. Both nations have imposed tariffs worth more than $300 billion and this is the first time that they are sitting down for a formal discussion to end the stalemate after their leaders agreed not to impose any more tariffs for 90 days at the G20 summit past year.

But, soybean imports from the USA plunged to zero in November. At the same time, China's imports from Russian Federation grew by 42.7 percent, reaching $59.08 billion. An alarming point in the latest Chinese trade data was a slowdown in the country's exports in December, shrinking by 4.5 percent to $221.2 billion, while imports declined 7.2 percent to $164.2 billion.

The trade surplus with Washington was not the only record for Beijing in 2018, according to the released customs data.

Washington was threatening even higher tariffs before Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a 90-day truce in December. China exports to the U.S. declined 3.5 per cent in December while its imports from the United States were down 35.8 per cent for the month.

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