China picks up pace on export front

K.T. Jagannathan

Even as Beijing has been facing intense anger from the global community at large, China is quietly recovering its ground on the economic front.

Exports from China soared 9.5 percent year-on-year to US$ 235.3 billion in August 2020. The export show has come as a big surprise. The market forecasts have predicted a 7.1 per cent export growth in August. In July, exports have risen by 7.2 per cent.

This is the third straight month of increase in overseas sales for China. Chinese exports have been boosted by record shipments of medical supplies and robust demand for electronic products. Sales of refined products increased 33.1 per cent from the previous month and those of unwrought aluminium and products went up 6.87 percent. In contrast, shipments fell for steel (-0.62 percent), rare earths (44 per cent) and grains (-36.77 percent). Exports to the United States rose 20 per cent to US$ 44.8 billion while those to the European Union declined 20.1 per cent to US$ 35.7 billion.

The continuing rise in export growth number is beyond the expectation of analysts across the canvass. Is it a sign of real pick up? Or, is it the reflection of base effect? The debate is quietly on the Beijing show on the export front.

Global Times, the government-backed Chinese publication, wrote quoting local experts that the protectionist curbs imposed by certain countries on China in a way led to a drop in imports into the country. Also, it indicated that the Chinese domestic demand hasn’t picked up yet.

The outlook still remains hazy. What if the pandemic escalates further and nation-states re-introduce the curbs? The relationship with the Americans is also getting shriller by the day, ahead of the presidential elections in the US. It may not be entirely out of context if Beijing readies a de-risk strategy to fortify its position as a leading economic power. All eyes are on Beijing. How will it reconfigure its game-plan in the fast-changing global dynamics? Indeed, lots of action appears imminent.

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