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  • By The Financial District

China's Exports, Imports Sink In August

China’s trade weakened in August as high energy prices, inflation and anti-virus measures weighed on global and Chinese consumer demand, while imports of Russian oil and gas surged, Joe McDonald reported for the Associated Press (AP).

Photo Insert: Broadcasting equipment is a top Chinese export.

Exports rose 7% over a year ago to $314.9 billion, decelerating from July’s 18% expansion, customs data showed Wednesday. Imports contracted by 0.2% to $235.5 billion, compared with the previous month’s already weak 2.3% growth.

Demand for Chinese exports has softened as Western economies. At home, repeated closures of Chinese cities to fight virus outbreaks has weighed on consumers’ willingness to spend.

Imports from Russia, mostly oil and gas, surged 59.3% to $11.2 billion as China appeared to take advantage of discounts offered by the Kremlin to attract buyers in the face of Western sanctions over its war on Ukraine.

China’s purchases of Russian energy irritate Washington and its allies but don’t violate sanctions on Moscow. Last year, China bought 20% of Russian crude exports, according to the International Energy Agency.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Growth in the world’s second-largest economy fell to 2.5% in the first half of 2022, less than half the ruling Communist Party’s 5.5% annual target, after Shanghai and other industrial centers were shut down to fight virus outbreaks.

Factories have reopened, but restrictions in areas including the southern business center of Shenzhen weighed on activity. So has a dry summer that left reservoirs unable to generate hydropower and disrupted river shipping.

Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

The International Monetary Fund and private sector forecasters have trimmed their low growth forecasts. China’s global trade surplus widened by 36.1% over a year earlier to $79.4 billion.

Exports to the US sank 3.8% from a year ago to $49.8 billion while imports of US goods declined 7.3% to $13 billion. The trade surplus with the US that sparked a tariff war narrowed by 2.4% to $36.7 billion.

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