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China trade: imports help Japan’s exports post largest monthly gain since late 2017

1 day ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A surge in China-bound shipments saw Japan post its strongest export growth in more than three years last month, in a sign that the economic recovery from last year’s deep coronavirus slump remains intact.However, the trade data is unlikely to completely ease worries about the fragile state of the world’s third-largest economy, which took an enormous hit from a collapse in global trade due to the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020.Japanese Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday that…

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US stops short of branding Taiwan as a currency manipulator

3 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The US Department of the Treasury on Friday said Taiwan, Vietnam, Switzerland tripped its thresholds for possible currency manipulation under a 2015 US trade law, but refrained from formally branding them as manipulators.In the first semi-annual foreign exchange report issued by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the treasury said it would commence “enhanced engagement” with Taiwan and continue such talks with Vietnam and Switzerland after the Trump administration labelled the latter two as…

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China renews appetite for gold with US$8.5 billion set to arrive as central bank relaxes quotas

4 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has given domestic and international banks permission to import large amounts of gold into the country, according to five sources familiar with the matter, potentially helping to support gold prices after a months-long decline.China is the world’s biggest gold consumer, gobbling up hundreds of tonnes worth tens of billions of US dollars each year, but its imports plunged as the coronavirus spread and local demand dried up.With China’s economy rebounding strongly since the second half of…

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China, Australia could feel impact as New Zealand halts livestock exports by sea over animal welfare concerns

6 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]New Zealand said on Wednesday it will stop the export of livestock by sea following a transition period of up to two years, citing animal welfare concerns for a decision that will affect major trading partners including Australia and China.The ban was welcomed by animal welfare groups, but the peak farming industry body said it was caught by surprise and was unaware of any breaches of standards.Live exports by sea have represented around 0.2 per cent of New Zealand’s primary sector exports…

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China trade: imports, exports set to have stayed ‘solid’ in March

8 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Improved global demand and a favourable base effect are likely to have kept China’s exports buoyant in March, while higher oil prices will have boosted its imports, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.China’s trade surplus is expected to be US$52.05 billion in March, following a surplus of US$103.25 billion in the first two months of the year, according to a median forecast in a Reuters poll of 27 economists. The data will be released on Tuesday.Exports are expected to have risen 35.5 per cent in…

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Container backlog, global supply chain disruption from Suez Canal crisis could take months to clear

11 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A backlog of container ships carrying consumer goods has grown in some key strategic ports after a near week-long blockage in the Suez Canal, adding to ongoing disruptions to global trade, industry sources said. Dozens of container ships were stuck when the Ever Given ran aground in the canal on March 23, with specialist rescue teams taking almost a week to free the vessel.The suspension of sailings through the waterway left shipping companies – including container lines – with millions of US…

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China’s forex reserves fell US$34.97 billion to US$3.17 trillion in March

13 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s foreign exchange reserves fell more than expected in March, official data showed on Wednesday, as the US dollar posted a gain against a basket of major currencies.The country’s foreign exchange reserves – the world’s largest – fell US$34.97 billion to US$3.17 trillion last month, compared with the US$3.19 trillion expected by a Reuters poll of analysts and US$3.205 trillion in February.Foreign inflows into Chinese stocks and bonds have been strong as China gallops ahead of other major…

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G20 set to extend ‘last or final’ debt payment freeze until end of 2021 to aid coronavirus recovery, World Bank chief says

14 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]World Bank president David Malpass said on Monday he expects China, the United States and other Group of 20 (G20) major economies to extend a freeze in bilateral debt service payments until the end of 2021 when they meet this week.The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) has already helped countries defer some US$5.7 billion in payments until the end of 2020, with another US$7.3 billion in deferred payments expected until June, according to World Bank data.Extending the debt payment…

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China’s services sector recovery accelerates, boosted by employment and surging business optimism

14 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A recovery in China’s services sector picked up speed in March as firms hired more workers and business optimism surged, although inflationary pressures remained, a private sector survey showed on Tuesday.The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.3, the highest since December, from 51.5 in February, well above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.Firms reported the sharpest increases in activity and overall sales in three months. New…

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China’s manufacturing activity growth in March lowest in almost a year due to soft domestic demand

19 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s factory activity in March expanded at the slowest pace in almost a year on softer overall domestic demand, but underlying economic conditions remained positive even as input and output inflationary pressures intensified for manufacturers.The Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 50.6 last month – the lowest level since April 2020 – from February’s 50.9, missing analyst expectations for an uptick to 51.3.The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a…

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China pushed to ‘poach’ Taiwan’s semiconductor technology, talent by US-China trade war, economy minister says

20 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The China-US trade war is pushing Beijing to step up its efforts to steal technology and poach talent from Taiwan to boost its semiconductor industry’s self-sufficiency, the government of the tech-powerhouse island said on Wednesday.Washington has taken aim at China’s tech industry during the bitter trade dispute, putting sanctions on firms including telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies, saying they are a threat to national security, angering Beijing.Chinese-claimed Taiwan is home to a…

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China-Australia relations: Beijing halts some hay imports, putting US$121 million export market under threat

25 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Some Australian hay suppliers have not received permits to export to China, the Global Times reported late on Thursday citing Chinese industry sources, in the latest escalation of trade tensions between the two countries.In a separate report on Wednesday, ABC News said Australia’s A$160 million (US$121 million) hay export market to China could be the latest casualty in the ongoing trade tensions, with 28 Australian hay exporters to China failing to get their expired permits renewed since the…

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China pushing for ‘early implementation’ of RCEP trade deal in January

26 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is encouraging the early implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and members of the Asia-Pacific trade pact aim for it to take effect from January 1, Wang Shouwen, China’s vice-commerce minister, said on Thursday.China began gathering support for the pact in 2012, in what was seen as a bid to counter growing US influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Backing for RCEP gained momentum in 2017, after then US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States…

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China keeps interest rate unchanged for 11th straight month, rolls over 100 billion yuan of medium-term loans

March 15, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s central bank on Monday injected medium-term loans into the banking system, while keeping the interest rate unchanged for an 11th straight month.The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement it was keeping the rate on 100 billion yuan (US$15.37 billion) worth of one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans to financial institutions steady at 2.95 per cent from previous operations.The PBOC also said the operation was a rollover of the same amount of maturing MLF loans due on…

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China economy: new bank loans in February fall less than expected, as ‘real financing demand is very strong’

March 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]New bank lending in China fell less than expected in February from January amid efforts by the central bank to cool credit growth to contain debt risks while maintaining support for ailing small firms.Chinese banks extended 1.36 trillion yuan (US$208.7 billion) in new local-currency loans in February, down from a record 3.58 trillion yuan in January but still beating analyst expectations, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on Wednesday.Analysts polled by Reuters had…

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C919: China’s home-grown aircraft on course to be certified by end of 2021, designer says

March 5, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s home-built C919 aircraft is expected to finish flight testing and win airworthiness certification by the end of this year, the programme’s chief designer, Wu Guanghui, said on Friday on the sidelines of an annual parliament meeting.State manufacturer, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), is set to deliver the first aircraft to China Eastern Airlines, which signed a firm order on Monday to buy five C919 jets.The carrier, which signed a letter of intent with Comac in 2010…

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China’s coal consumption set to rise in 2021 despite Beijing’s carbon neutral goal

March 3, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s coal consumption is expected to continue rising in 2021 despite Beijing’s pledges to boost the use of clean energy and curb greenhouse gas emissions, the China National Coal Association said on Wednesday.China, the world’s biggest coal consumer, saw overall consumption of the fossil fuel increase by 0.6 per cent in 2020 from a year earlier to around 4.04 billion tonnes, according to Reuters’ calculations based on official data.“Central government has said it will continue to implement a…

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China debt: foreign holdings of government bonds rise above 2 trillion yuan in February amid global rout

March 3, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Foreign investors held more than 2 trillion yuan (US$309 billion) worth of Chinese government bonds for the first time in February, data showed on Wednesday, even as premiums over US debt shrank as a bond sell-off dented global markets.Total holdings of Chinese government bonds by investors outside mainland China stood at a record 2.06 trillion yuan (US$318 billion) at the end of February, according to data published on Wednesday by interbank bond market clearing house China Central Depository …

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China’s services sector grows at slowest rate in 10 months in February

March 3, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s services sector activity grew at its slowest pace in 10 months in February as firms struggled with sluggish demand and high costs, a private sector survey showed on Wednesday, prompting them to cut jobs.The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 51.5, the lowest since April, from 52.0 in January but remained above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.A sub-index for employment stood at 47.9, slipping into contraction after six…

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China’s rare earths facing ‘race to the bottom’ due to underpricing

March 1, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s rare earths are underpriced due to vicious competition and face low resource utilisation, which would lead to a race to the bottom, the country’s industry minister said on Monday.“Our rare earths did not sell at the ‘rare’ price but sold at the ‘earth’ price … because of competitive bidding, which wasted the precious resource,” said Xiao Yaqing from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).Threats from China, the world’s top producer of rare earths – a group of 17…

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China’s manufacturing activity growth slips to lowest level since May

March 1, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s factory activity expanded at the slowest pace in nine months in February as weak overseas demand and coronavirus flare-ups weighed on output, adding pressure on the country’s labour market, a business survey showed on Monday.The slowdown in the manufacturing sector underscores the fragility of the ongoing economic recovery in China, although domestic coronavirus cases have since been stamped out and analysts expect a strong rebound in full-year growth.February also saw the Lunar New…

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China-Australia relations: Chinese investment in Australia plummets in 2020 amid tensions

February 28, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese investment in Australia fell by 61 per cent in 2020 to the lowest level recorded by the Australian National University in six years, coinciding with a worsening diplomatic dispute.The annual tracking study from the university’s East Asian Bureau of Economic Research recorded A$1 billion (US$783 million) of Chinese investment in 2020, consisting of real estate (45 per cent), mining (40 per cent) and manufacturing (15 per cent) deals.The fall was bigger than the 42 per cent decrease in…

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China’s coal share of energy consumption falls in 2020 but overall coal use up

February 28, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China cut its coal use to 56.8 per cent of energy consumption at the end of 2020, maintaining its target of below 58 per cent, but overall coal consumption continued to rise amid record industrial output and the completion of dozens of coal-fired power plants.The rapid roll-out of renewable-energy capacity and the growing use of natural gas has helped reduce the share of coal consumption from around 68 per cent over the past decade and 57.7 per cent a year earlier, but overall coal use has not…

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China’s Lunar New Year air passenger traffic fall offset by 200 per cent increase in international cargo flights

February 19, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s air passenger traffic fell over Lunar New Year, but a surge of over 200 per cent in the number of international cargo flights during seven-day holiday showed that signs of a quick recovery are emerging due to the country’s success in curbing domestic transmission of the coronavirus.Air passenger traffic fell 45.16 per cent year on year over the Lunar New Year, the aviation regulator said on Thursday.Passenger numbers stood at 3.57 million over the seven-day holiday period, the Civil…

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China-Australia relations: global iron ore market to ‘remain robust for some time’, says Fortescue CEO

February 18, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The global iron ore market is likely to remain robust for some time, given supply concerns and stronger-than-usual demand from top consumer China, Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines said on Thursday.“Not only in China, but the ex-China activity is also picking up to pre-Covid levels,” she said. “Our view is that the market will remain robust for some time.”In China, activity rates did not slow as much as is normal for the Lunar New Year because not as many workers returned home, she…

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China-Australia relations: Australian miner BHP ‘not banking on’ coal ban to be lifted any time soon

February 16, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]BHP Group expects China’s ban on imports of Australian coal to continue for some time, a policy that has dented the top global miner’s coal returns, chief executive Mike Henry said on Tuesday.BHP acknowledged that its coal business, which is under review for sale or spin off, has taken a hit due to a trade spat between Australia and China that the miner does not expect to be resolved any time soon.“We’re certainly not banking on any near term resetting of that policy,” Henry said.On Tuesday,…

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China-backed RCEP trade deal unlikely to benefit developing members in short term, analysts say

February 11, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership (RCEP) is unlikely to bring immediate significant benefits for its developing member countries in terms of flow of goods and services or major infrastructure investments, analysts and economists said.The pact needs to be ratified by all countries, which may take time, and has different levels of tariff reductions for each country and product, experts told the Reuters Global Markets Forum.That means labour-intensive countries may get more imports…

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China-Australia relations: Africa’s winemakers, miners toast ‘potential’ of trade dispute

February 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]For South African winemaker Vergenoegd Löw, the coronavirus pandemic could have been a disaster, but a bitter trade war between China and Australia has thrown the 325-year-old estate a lifeline.Bottles of its reds, whites and roses piled up when South Africa banned alcohol sales under a strict lockdown and visitors who once flocked to the vineyard near Cape Town to sip wine and snap photos of its famed Indian Runner ducks vanished.That changed when Beijing slapped tariffs of up to 212 per cent…

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China economy: FDI rose in January following record 2020

February 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China rose 4.6 per cent from a year earlier in January to 91.61 billion yuan (US$14.2 billion), the Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday.In US dollar terms, FDI rose 6.2 per cent year on year to US$13.47 billion, the ministry said in a statement.Last year, FDI into China rose to a record high in 2020 by posing the fastest growth rate in five years despite the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.FDI in US dollar terms – excluding financial…

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China economy: banks extended record 3.58 trillion yuan in new loans in January

February 9, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s new bank loans surged to new highs in January boosted by seasonal demand, while broad credit growth slowed, as the central bank walks a tightrope between supporting a recovering economy and rising debt risks.Banks extended 3.58 trillion yuan (US$555 billion) in new loans in January, hitting the highest on record and topping the 3.34 trillion yuan seen in January 2020, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on Tuesday.Chinese lenders tend to front-load loans at…

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