BEIJING- China’s exports rose at the fastest pace since February 2018 in November, helped by strong global demand and as the factory recovery from the coronavirus in the world’s second-largest economy outpaced those of its major trading partners.
Exports in November rose 21.1 percent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, soundly beating analysts’ expectations for a 12.0 percent increase and quickening from an 11.4 percent increase in October.
Imports rose 4.5 percent yearon-year in November, slower than October’s 4.7 percent growth, and underperforming expectations in a Reuters poll for a 6.1 percent increase, but still marking a third straight month of expansion.
Analysts say improving domestic demand and higher commodity prices helped buoy the reading.
That has led to a trade surplus for November of $75.42 billion, the largest since at least 1981 and wider than the poll’s forecast for a $53.5 billion surplus and $58.44 billion surplus in October.
Booming sales of fridges, toasters and microwaves to households across the locked-down world have helped propel China’s manufacturing engine back to life, supercharging demand for key metals like steel, copper and aluminum, after a sharp slump early in the year.
In another sign of brisk trade, China’s export surge and the low turnaround rate of containers from abroad have triggered a recent shortage of containers domestically, state media China Daily reported.
A spate of early month economic data showed China’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has stepped up, with manufacturing surveys showing new export orders expanding at a faster pace for November.
But some analysts cautioned that surging infections and fresh lockdowns in some key trading partners could dent demand for Chinese goods.