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According to the latest trade balance results, the performance of both exports and imports remained solid during March, noted Economist at UOB Group Ho Woei Chen, CFA.

Key Quotes

“China’s exports and imports continued strong expansion in March. Both the low comparison base and continuing recovery in demand had contributed to the robust trade data. In USD-terms, exports were up 30.6% y/y (Bloomberg est: +38.0% y/y; Feb: 154.9% y/y) while imports came in well-above expectation at 38.1% y/y (Bloomberg est: +24.4% y/y; Feb: 17.3% y/y), its strongest pace since February 2017. The stronger rebound in imports led to a narrower trade surplus in March at US$13.80 bn compared to US$37.88 bn in February, the lowest in 13 months.”

“In 1Q21, total exports and imports surged by 49.0% y/y and 28.0% y/y respectively. Outlook remains positive with the low base of comparison expected to support China’s export and import growth by at least one more quarter ahead.”

“In March, both export and import with the US had performed strongly compared to China’s other key markets. China’s trade surplus with the US came in at US$21.37 bn in March easing slightly from US$23.01 bn in February. Overall in 1Q21, China’s export to US was up 74.8% y/y and import from US rose 69.5% y/y with trade surplus rising to US$72.63 bn from US$40.73 bn a year ago. The recovering demand in the US is likely to contribute to a larger Chinese trade surplus against the US this year.”