China imports from US plunge 31% in June amid tariff war

Andrew Cummings
July 13, 2019

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, tweeted late Thursday that the "achievement of Osaka summit is a China-U.S. consensus, not a unilateral commitment China made to the U.S. Hope the U.S. will lift all sanctions on Huawei soon and respect the principle of equality".

China brought in 6.51 million tonnes of soybeans in June, down from 7.36 million tonnes in May, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

Chinese imports of USA goods fell 31.4% from a year earlier to $9.4 billion, while exports to the American market declined 7.8% to $39.3 billion, according to Chinese customs data.

When it comes to Chinese purchases of US agricultural goods, signs are growing that President Donald Trump won't get what he wants anytime soon. "We expect exports to continue to be weak for the rest of the year, but probably not as bad as in June", due to the expectation that "China's infrastructure investment will grow faster in the second half as more of the policy support comes through".

Liang's complaint came a day after Trump accused Beijing of "letting us down" by not promptly buying more USA farm products.

Trade envoys talked by phone Tuesday in their first contact since Trump and Xi met in Japan, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said.

Beijing agreed a year ago to narrow its trade surplus with the United States by buying more American natural gas and other exports but scrapped that plan after one of Trump's tariff hikes. It gave no details or a date for more contacts.

China's global exports sank 1.3 percent to $212.8 billion while imports fell 7.3 percent to $161.9 billion.

Trump did not specifically say he will re-escalate the trade war.

China's stance so far suggests the purchase of agricultural products are part a larger deal under discussion, said He Weiwen, who previously served as a commercial attache at the Chinese consulates in NY and San Francisco and is now a senior research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing. "While a deal makes sense for both sides this year, it's far from guaranteed and could hit many more snags".

Chinese leaders express confidence their economy can survive the tariff fight. "Hopefully they will start soon!"

Trump also claimed Xi had agreed that China would buy large amounts of United States agricultural goods.

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