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China's January exports jump 7.9%, boon for Asia amid Trump concerns

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A Chinese steel worker helps load steel rods onto a large truck for transport at a plant

Macro data are usually distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January this year, but in February last year.

The new USA administration has not announced any major initiatives yet, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused China of unfair trade practices and talked about slapping a 45% tariff on Chinese imports.

Last year, Chinese imports decreased by 5.5 percent, while exports went down 7.7 percent. China's exports to Russian Federation grew 29.5 percent, reaching $3.41 billion, while imports from Russian Federation increased by 39.3 percent - up to $3.14 billion.

Copper concentrate and ore imports rose 6.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.25 million tonnes.

Rising to $183 billion for the month, it easily beat Bloomberg's forecast of 3.2% growth and reversed a 6.1% plunge in December. "Large concerns remain ahead, as the trade situation for China largely depends on its relationship with the new USA administration", Nishihama said.

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The trade surplus climbed to $51.3 billion. But the country was still a net exporter for the month.

China's crude imports are expected to soften in the first half of 2017, BMI research said.

"China's trade performance appears to have stabilized, consistent with the recovery in the regional supply chain", Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said in a note yesterday. The early arrival of the Chinese new year this year also helped.

The company published the paper after China released its January trade data, which showed exports and imports had jumped 15.9 percent and 25.2 percent year on year. Zhao Zhongxiu, Vice-president of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, commented: "Trade has benefited from a number of government measures meant to stabilise exports and promote economic growth. It is pretty obvious to me that the climate for exports to the USA is going to be much harsher in the coming years". Michael Klein#mondaymotivation https://t.co/sl6qCu9jEc- EconoFactOrg (EconoFactOrg) January 30, 2017 Louis Kuijs, head Of Asia economics at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong, thinks nothing is certain however: "The worry we have is really about United States trade policy, which is undeniably turning more protectionist..."

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