China’s export growth seen up

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    Container ship at Mawan Smart Port at Qianhai Shekou Free Trade Zone in Shenzhen. (Reuters Photo)

    BEIJING- China’s exports likely surged to a three-year high and imports also jumped in the first two months of the year, thanks to a low base, as economic activity ground to a halt last year due to draconian COVID-19 control measures, a Reuters poll showed.

    Exports are expected to have risen 38.9 percent in January-February from a year earlier, according to a median forecast in a Reuters poll of 22 economists, up from 18.1 percent gain in December.

    China’s customs began combining January and February data last year to smooth distortions caused by the Lunar New Year, which can fall in either month.

    Separately, the head of China state planner said on Friday that China’s exports are estimated to have grown over 50 percent in the first two months, without specifying whether that was in yuan or dollar terms.

    The strong forecasts contrast with official and private manufacturing surveys that have indicated a weakening in external demand for Chinese products.

    “China’s exports are facing both positive and negative impacts currently,” analysts with China Minsheng Bank said in a note.

    “The exports volume of medical supplies and transfer red orders from other countries due to coronavirus-related disruptions to production will decrease, with more countries speeding up work resumption with the rollout of vaccines.”

    The bank’s analysts also expected a rebound of overseas demand for Chinese goods with the reopening of global economy.