Friday 12 July 2019 1:14 pm

Trade tensions dent China's exports and imports in June

China’s exports and imports fell last month, as a tariff standoff with the US took its toll on the economy.

The Chinese trading outlook waned in June, according to new figures that underline the country’s current growth troubles.

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China’s customs department reported today that dollar-denominated exports tumbled 1.3 per cent in June when compared with the same month in the previous year, while imports slumped 7.3 per cent.

“Exports declined last month as a result of the step-up in U.S. tariffs in May and waning global demand,” noted Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics.

He added: “Imports also weakened on the back of a renewed domestic slowdown.”

The latest data comes after Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed at a recent summit in Japan not to implement any further trade tariffs for the time being.

However, fears of an impasse in the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington, D.C. and a global financial slowdown still loom large over the economy.

During the first six months of this year, China’s exports grew 0.1 per cent in US dollar terms, marking a sharp drop from 12.8 per cent during the same period last year.

Imports declined 4.3 per cent from January to June, compared with a rise of nearly 20 per cent last year.

According to South China Morning Post calculations, China’s exports to the US fell by 7.8 per cent to $39bn (£31bn) in June, while imports fell 31.4 per cent to $9 billion.

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Fears of a slowdown follow a day on from chairman of the US Federal Reserve Jay Powell boosting the market’s expectations that the first interest rate cut in ten years will come this month with a gloomy testimony to a congressional committee.

Mihir Kapadia, the chief executive of Sun Global Investments, said: “The Fed’s inclination for a rate cut comes at a time when investors remain concerned about major economies remaining robust. Underscoring global growth concerns, Singapore reported a slump in its economy while China reported weak export data. The news from Singapore is especially concerning as it is often considered a benchmark for global economic activity given its heavy reliance on international trade.”