The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary and analysis on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, inflation, labor economics, and financial issues.

Authors for macroblog are Dave Altig, John Robertson, and other Atlanta Fed economists and researchers.

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June 10, 2005

The Chinese Trade Surplus: Still Growing

From Bloomberg:

China's exports grew faster than its imports for a seventh month, almost doubling a trade surplus that has prompted the U.S. and the European Union to call for a stronger Chinese currency and curbs on textile shipments.

Perhaps those efforts are having some impact:

China's clothing exports rose 17 percent to $24.4 billion in the first five months of the year, the customs bureau said. Shipments of yarn and knitted items surged 23 percent to $15.5 billion.         

Youngor Group Co., China's biggest maker of men's shirts and suits, says it's already losing orders to rivals in India and Southeast Asia because of the dispute.         

"For the third quarter, we are seeing changes as U.S. companies start to shift orders of trousers to India,'' chairman Li Rucheng told reporters at the company's head office in Ningbo yesterday.         

On the other hand:

The impact of any textile quotas on China's export growth is likely to be limited, according to Andy Xie, chief economist at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong. Any drop in textiles shipments will be more than made up for by growth in exports of steel, machinery and electronics, where capacity in China has surged over the past two years...

China, the world's largest steel consumer, became a net exporter of the alloy for the first time this year, with overseas shipments rising more than threefold to 6.7 million tons in the first four months of the year. Exports to Japan more than doubled in April and China became the fourth biggest exporter of steel to the U.S. in the first quarter, moving up from eighth place a year earlier, according to U.S. data.

In support of Professor Hamilton's take on global energy developments:

That production is stoking demand for energy in China. Coal imports jumped 59 percent to 9.74 million tons in the first five months of the year and crude oil purchases increased 5.1 percent to 52.3 million tons, the customs bureau said.

Some, however, that the import side of the balance is the real story:

The problem of China's widening trade surplus "is not so much about exporting, it's more about import substitution,'' says [ Tao Dong, chief regional economist at Credit Suisse First Boston]. "In the chemical industry, we see quite clear evidence that domestically-made materials are replacing materials imported from Korea and Taiwan. Twelve months down the road this may also happen in the steel industry.''

June 10, 2005 in Asia | Permalink


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Listed below are links to blogs that reference The Chinese Trade Surplus: Still Growing :

» US Trade Numbers Are In from A Fistful of Euros
So are the China trade surplus ones. Dave at MacroBlog has the details on China. I'm waiting for Brad Setser to post, but he must be either doing his sums, or having a late breakfast :) Essentially I am outside... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 10, 2005 10:36:12 AM

» china's trade surplus from asiapundit
Macroblog has a look at the latest trade data from China. Fons notes that China and the EU have reached an agreement on textiles that should help reduce tensions.:SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China agreed to limit the growth in its exports [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 11, 2005 6:34:14 AM


On coal, a large part of the gain can be attributed to the shutting down of a major rail route for repair and the closing of illegal mines on safety grounds. I doubt the double-digit gain will be an often-repeated event (there could even be a drop when the delivery problem with domestic supply is solved and domestic mines build capacity). There's lots of coal here (although, China will continue to need to increasingly import energy (oil especially)).

Posted by: myrick | June 11, 2005 at 05:54 AM

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Posted by: Kate | January 16, 2009 at 08:50 AM

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