China foreign trade surplus fell 9.1 per cent in 2016

Beijing, Rabi’II 15, 1438, Jan 13, 2017, SPA — China’s foreign trade surplus fell by 3.35 trillion yuan (486 billion US dollars) in 2016, down 9.1 per cent from a year earlier, customs data showed Friday.
According to dpa, this followed a slight rebound in the fourth quarter with exports rising 0.3 per cent from last year and imports going up by 8.7 per cent, compared to a 0.3 per cent decrease in exports and a 2.3 per cent rise in imports in the third quarter.  General Administration of Customs spokesperson Huang Songping said China had “complicated and grim” conditions for foreign trade last year, but foreign trade started to pick up steam from the second half of 2016.  China has faced heavy criticism from trade partners for issues such as repeated devaluation of the national currency renminbi, which makes Chinese exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive.  European Union countries and the United States have also pushed against China’s excess production in sectors including steel and aluminium, with the European Union imposing anti-dumping duties.  US president-elect Donald Trump may further limit the growth of China’s exports by imposing trade protectionist measures, Huang told reporters Friday.
He added that rising costs and other factors will make it difficult for China’s foreign trade to improve in 2017.  Trump’s stance towards China’s trade could bring about long-term structural weakness in China’s exports as it “will likely motivate US businesses to move their manufacturing facilities away from China,” according to a Friday statement from ANZ Banking Group.”Sluggish global demand and anti-globalisation sentiment will continue to cloud Asia’s export outlook, including China’s,” the report said.  After decades of growth at a breakneck pace, China’s economy grew by only 6.9 per cent in 2015, the slowest growth in more than a quarter of a century.
12:49 LOCAL TIME 09:49 GMT