China Trade Surplus for January 2011

The headlines blare China's trade deficit shrunk, yet what does that mean for the United States and it's massive deficit with China?

Imports jumped 51% from the year-ago period, while exports grew by 37.7%, according to reports citing official data released over state television Monday.

While reports show China's trade surplus was cut by half, from $13.1 billion to $6.5 billion, unless those imports come from the United States, a 37.7% China export increase from a year ago is not good news for America.

The United States is China's biggest export destination, so odds are those exports are coming here. Notice China reports only two way trade, but most of the trade with the U.S. is one way and that is China exporting to America.

More of the rise in imports is due to increasing commodity prices:

he average price of imported iron ore was more than US$151 per ton, rising 66 percent year-on-year, while bean prices rose 20.4 percent.

The China State Press has a different take and notes China's trade activity has surged 44% from one year ago.

The European Union remained China's largest trade partner in 2010, with EU-China trade up 30.5 percent year on year to 45.97 billion U.S. dollars.

Trade with the United States rose 39.2 percent year on year to 36.87 billion U.S. dollars, while China-Japan trade jumped 42 percent to 27.84 billion U.S. dollars.

Trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) surged 34.5 percent to 28.89 billion U.S.dollars. The deficit with ASEAN nations multiplied by a factor of 4.4 to 2.17 billion U.S. dollars.

China's trade with emerging economies climbed significantly: trade with India was up 44.2 percent to 6.66 billion U.S. dollars; and with Brazil up 74.8 percent to 5.99 billion yuan.

Notice the above does not break down the trade in terms of imports and exports, which is suspect to hide their mercantilism results.

We might see some good news for U.S. soybean exports for January. From the report:

China imported 5.14 million tonnes of soybeans in January. Import prices jumped by 20.4 percent to 558.1 U.S. dollars per tonne.

The United States jumped to #1 in Agricultural imports to China:

Official figures show China imported agricultural products valued at US$17.5 billion from the US in 2010, accounting for 15.1% of the total exports of agricultural products from the US.

China's major import from the US is soybean.

Get ready for pollution and notice once again, the below quote does not attribute cars per country, or the fact GM and others have JVs, or joint ventures in China, are manufacturing cars in China.

Imports of cars, from Germany, Japan, the United States, Italy, South Korea and other countries, reached 81,000 vehicles, rising more than 45 percent year-on-year, a verification that China has become one of the world’s major luxury car user.

The U.S. non-oil goods trade deficit with China is 79% of the total.

The surge in imports is due to commodities and also China's seasonal factors. Beyond Soybeans, the Chinese import surge is not American finished goods.

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