China exports unexpectedly shrink in October, missing growth expectations

China’s exports and imports fell in October in dollar terms, according to customs data released on Monday.
That decline was below Reuters’ expectations for growth in both categories.
China’s exports to the US fell in October for the third straight month.
BEIJING – China’s exports unexpectedly fell in October as the value of goods sold to the US and EU fell, according to Chinese customs data released on Monday.

China’s exports fell 0.3% in October from a year earlier in dollar terms, below Reuters expectations for a 4.3% increase.

The drop marked a sharp decline from a 5.7% annual increase in September and the first annual decline since May 2020, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.

Imports fell 0.7% in October in dollar terms, also below expectations for a slight 0.1% growth and below the 0.3% increase in September.

China’s exports to the US fell 12.6% in October from a year earlier, the third straight month of decline, according to CNBC calculations with US dollar-denominated customs data.

The US is China’s biggest trading partner in a single country, the data shows.

China’s exports to the European Union fell by 9% in October, after rising in September.

However, China’s exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – the country’s biggest trading partner by region – increased by around 20% in October.

China’s global home appliance exports are down more than 20%, toys are down nearly 18% and shoes are down nearly 11%.

The country’s auto exports rose 60% in October to 352,000 units, the data showed.

China’s crude oil imports are up 14% year-on-year, while coal imports are up 8%. But natural gas imports are down nearly 19%.

In addition to ongoing Covid controls, last month marked the twice-a-decade congress of the Chinese Communist Party, in which President Xi Jinping consolidated his power.

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