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China exports up 16.3pc as trade with Russia surged

BEIJING (AFP) – Chinese exports in January and February rose a combined 16.3 per cent on surging global demand and a spike in trade with Russia in the run-up to the war in Ukraine, according to customs data released yesterday.

The growth rate exceeded economists’ expectations of a 15.7-per-cent gain from a year earlier. Shipments from the world’s second-largest economy were valued at USD544.7 billion in the first two months, the data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed. Exports to Russia rose 41 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.

Trade data for January and February is usually combined to even out the impact of the extended Chinese new year holiday, which usually begins in one of those two months.

Imports rose 15.5 per cent to USD428.75 billion in the first two months of the year, leaving a Chinese trade surplus of USD115.95 billion. Exports remain a bright spot for a Chinese economy that has slowed sharply in recent months due to virus outbreaks, a property market slump and regulatory crackdowns on key sectors.

China’s coal imports in the first two months doubled from a year earlier as Beijing scrambled to replenish supplies after a shortage late last year caused power cuts that paralysed large swathes of the economy. Exports to Russia grew at the fastest rate among China’s major trading partners in January and February, outpacing trade with the European Union (EU) and the United States (US).


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