China’s exports and imports fell less than expected in October

Business

Workers load goods for export onto a crane at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China June 7, 2019.

Reuters

China’s exports and imports beat forecasts in October, Reuters reported citing data from the country’s customs.

In dollar terms, exports fell 0.9% while imports fell 6.4% from a year ago in October.

Trade balance for October was $42.81 billion.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected October exports to fall 3.9% and imports to fall 8.9% from a year earlier. They had forecast the trade balance to be $40.83 billion.

In September, China’s imports and exports fell more than expected with exports falling 3.2% in September from a year ago, while imports dropped 8.5% during the same period.

The Chinese economy — the second largest in the world — is growing at a slower pace amid the protracted trade battle between Beijing and Washington.

On Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry said that Beijing had agreed with Washington to lift existing trade tariffs between the two nations in phases.

Market participants had expected the two economic giants to sign a deal later this month, after both Washington and Beijing spoke of progress in talks late last week.

However, Reuters reported on Wednesday that a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could be postponed until December — delaying a chance for the two leaders to sign an interim trade deal.

The world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

— CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee and Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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