Monday 7 June 2021 9:24 am

Commodity inflation hits China after pandemic delays and recovery demand

Despite its imports growing at their fastest pace in a decade in May, pandemic delays and recovery demand have spelled rising commodity inflation in China.

Surging demand for raw materials stoked the country’s import growth, despite exports climbing less than expected due to pandemic disruptions and Covid cases at key ports.

Imports increased 51.1 per cent year-on-year last month, which was partly inflated by hot raw materials prices, as easing global restrictions triggered recovery demand for coal, steel, iron ore and copper.

China’s exports in May slipped slightly below analyst forecasts, as it was expected to lift by 32.1 per cent but instead grew 27.9 per cent in dollar terms from 2019.

The exporting giant posted a $45.53bn trade surplus last month, exceeding its $42.86bn April surplus – but landed at less than the $50.5bn that was anticipated.

After several cases of coronavirus were found among port staff, a host of major shipping companies have warned clients of congestion at Shenzhen’s Yantian port in Guangdong province, which they expect will worsen.