BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2019/19

China Customs valued April goods imports at 180 billion dollars. After shrinking by nearly 5 % in the first three months of the year, import growth recovered to 4 % y-o-y last month. The value of key commodity imports rose by 15 % y-o-y in April, while the value of other goods imports was up by 1 %. Imports of machinery & equipment (over 40 % of Chinese imports) contracted much less in April (-3 %) than in the January-March period (-8 %).

Trade with the United States continued to shrink. During January-April, imports of US goods to China fell by 30 % from a year earlier, while exports declined by 10 %. The April figures were similar to those of the first quarter. The EU showed the strongest rebound in Chinese imports from advanced economies (up 4 % in April).

Shifts in exchange rates also affected foreign trade trends in the first four months of this year. In dollar terms, the value of exports showed no growth in January-April (in April -3 %), while imports contracted by about 2 %. In yuan terms, exports rose by nearly 6 % y-o-y and imports were up almost 3 %.