China trade balance data for August – surplus comes in below median estimate


Trade balance data out from China Sunday will not be viewed as a positive input for China-related risk markets. 

The counter to this is, of course, the expectation of stimulus from China, some of which we have already indeed seen (eg. only on Friday we got news of  the cut to the RRR) and more is forecast.

Yuan terms trade balance data

Surplus for the trade balance of 239.60bn … miss

  • expected CNY 299.3bn, prior was CNY 310.26bn

Exports +2.6% y/y … miss … slowing global growth and US tariffs key points for exports missing

  • expected +6.3%, prior was +10.3%

Imports -2.6% y/y  – falling imports are often associated with domestic economic weakness -this result not as sharp a fall as expected.

  • expected -3.1%, prior was +0.4%


trade balance: $+34.84

  • expected $44.3bn, prior was $44.58bn

Exports -1.0% y/y. In USD terms a shrinkage for the month and a miss on positive expectations. There was expected to be ‘front loading’ of exports ahead of further tariffs and the miss is being blamed (at least partially) on this failing to show up. Huh. What if exports were front loaded though and this is the result even after that was done? A possibility?

  • expected +2.2%, prior +3.3%

Imports -5.6% y/y

  • expected -6.4%, prior was -5.3%


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