China’s February trade hits imports

In February, China’s trade surplus came in at $US15.25 billion, beating expectations of a $US6.9 billion deficit.

The beat was the result of exports increasing by 21.8% against consensus of 8.1%.

Imports fell 15.2 per cent, compared to expectations of an 8.5% drop.

This is not an unexpected pattern Chinese New Year fell in February this year but is a pretty wild swing. We’ve seen volatility too in the PMIs and credit data.

From theĀ AFR:

Iron ore imports by top consumer China fell 14 per cent in February from the previous month to a four-month low of 56.42 million tonnes, customs data showed, as the Lunar New Year holiday slowed shipments and high prices curbed appetite.

Compared to a year ago, February’s imports were down 16.2 per cent. Total imports in the first two months of the year, which strips out the holiday distortions, were down 1.5 per cent from year ago at more than 120 million tonnes, according to data issued by the General Administration of Customs on Friday.

To be honest, the stats coming out of China over the past two months have been pretty wild so I’m treating them all with caution until the Chinese NY washes out in March.