Posts Tagged ‘balance of trade’

China’s trade surplus in 2012 was 48% higher than in 2011

January 10, 2013

China’s role as a motor for the world economy continues.

In spite of sluggish world-wide demand, Chinese exports rose 7.9 percent in 2012 from the previous year, while imports climbed 4.3 percent year on year. Xinhua reports that “China’s foreign trade for 2013 will be better than that of last year despite uncertainties, a General Administration of Customs spokesman said on Thursday. Spokesman Zheng Yuesheng said global economies have launched stimulus policies to prevent growth rates from slumping, adding that China’s domestic efforts to boost the growth of foreign trade will have more visible effects this year”.

MarketWatch: China’s trade surplus soared to $31.6 billion in December, trouncing estimates and widening sharply from a $19.6 billion surplus in November, aided by a strong growth in the country’s exports. Official data released Thursday showed exports expanded 14.1% during the month from the year-earlier period, while imports grew 6%. A survey of economists by Dow Jones Newswires estimated a trade surplus of $19.6 billion, exports growth of 4.6% and a 3.3% increase in imports. The steep increase in December’s positive trade balance boosted China’s full-year trade surplus for 2012 to $231.1 billion, 48.1% higher than the level recorded in 2011, according to a Xinhua news report.


Indian exports up 82% as focus shifts to new markets in Africa and S. America

August 12, 2011

Financial turbulence in India’s traditional markets in Europe and the US have threatened to limit  development. Even though domestic consumption has increased significantly in the last decade the Indian economy is still very dependent upon exports. There has been a shift of emphasis in the last few years as India has tried to emulate China and develop new markets in Africa and South America.

Although exports had contracted for 13 straight months beginning November 2008, India rebounded from the crisis quickly, logging an unprecedented 37.6% growth in 2010-11 on the back of incentives and a push into new markets in Latin America and Africa.

July exports surged nearly 82% from a year ago to $29.3 billion while imports grew 51.5% to $40.4 billion, trade data released on Thursday showed. 

Exports of engineering goods, which now account for as much as 30% of the export basket, to Latin America increased four-fold during April to July. The IT industry too intensified exports to the region while the pharmaceutical industry found huge demand for its generics in Brazil and Mexico.

This strategy targeting Latin America and Africa has its limits since in absolute terms the US and EU still account for a third of the country’s exports and a large portion of India’s imports. Any decline in exports to these regions will create a balance of payments problem. In April-July 2011, imports grew 40% to $151 billion, expanding the trade deficit to $42.7 billion. In July alone, the trade deficit was $11 billion.

Fortunately the 2011 monsoon looks like being  close to an “average monsoon” which should keep domestic demand buoyant. But the best long-term demand hedge for India will be in differentiating from Chinese products and increasing exports to China. Imports from China are growing fast and to get trade with China into a more healthy balance will also reduce the balance of payment risks.

From the Hindu Business Line (which is by far the most balanced and reliable financial newspaper in India):


Exports in July grew by an astonishing 81.8 per cent to $29.3 billion, according to provisional data released by the Commerce Secretary, Dr Rahul Khullar, on Thursday.

The drivers of this growth – the fastest since April 1995, according to Bloomberg – were sectors such as engineering, petroleum products, readymade garments, gems and jewellery. The strategy to diversify to new markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America has helped in maintaining high growth rates.

Dr Khullar, however, told reporters that the growth rates will definitely slowdown from August due to a demand contraction in traditional markets such as the US and Europe. He said the increase in interest cost is hurting small and medium exporters, adding that, “I am trying to get something done on that front”. …..

Since consumers in the US and Europe — owing to lower income and fear of job losses — are likely to switch over to cheaper products, exporters adapting quickly to cater such a demand will survive, Dr Khullar said. He added that the country is “better prepared” to face any slowdown than it was in 2008 during the global financial crisis.

Dr Khullar said that monthly exports are likely to fall to less than $25 billion, which would make it tough to achieve a figure of $300 billion for the entire fiscal. In 2010-11, India’s merchandise exports were valued at a record $246 billion. …… 

Meanwhile, imports in July rose 51.5 per cent to $40.4 billion. Trade deficit (gap between imports and exports) in July widened to $11.1 billion, up from $7.7 billion in June and $8.9 billion in April 2011. It had touched a $15 billion–high in May.

Dr Khullar said the high level of trade deficit continues to be a worry, adding that it could be over $130 billion for this fiscal. Trade deficit during April-July 2011 is already $42.7 billion.

Exports during April-July 2011 jumped 54 per cent to $108.3 billion, while imports during this period increased 40 per cent to $151 billion.

Engineering exports were $8.7 billion in July alone and $31.6 billion during April-July 2011 due to a huge increase in such shipments to Africa and Latin America. Thanks to high oil prices, shipments of petroleum products also rose. They were worth $4.6 billion in July and $18.6 billion in April-July, an increase of 60 per cent.

Mr Khullar said exports of most sectors have shown huge growth due to the ‘lag effect’ as these were the orders that Indian exporters received months before the recent crisis in US and Europe, tsunami in Japan, huge inflation in China and a robust growth in Latin America.

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