China September Exports Rise 9%

The solid September readings will be welcome news for Beijing ahead of a major political leadership reshuffle next week, at which President Xi Jinping is expected to further tighten his grip on power.

China's goods trade volume rose 16.6 percent to 20.29 trillion yuan (3.08 trillion US dollars) in the first three quarters of this year, official data showed Friday. The rise beat the poll's forecast for a 15% gain.

The International Monetary Fund expects this year's economic growth to slip to 6.6 percent from last year's 6.7 percent and to below 6.2 percent in 2018.

January-September concentrate imports stood at 12.57 million tonnes, up 3.2 percent from a year earlier.

Higher commodity prices greatly magnified the strength of the bounce, but volumes surged, too, pointing to still-solid underlying demand. The figure was up 2 percent from 1.44 million tonnes in August and up 5.8 percent year-on-year.

Although there is room for considerable skepticism about official Chinese data - and the numbers can swing wildly month to month - there is reason to believe there has been a recent slowdown in trade, experts say.

China's foreign trade will likely grow at a double-digit pace this year if current conditions continue, the General Administration of Customs said.

The breakdown of trade with North Korea was given in response to a reporter's question at a briefing following publication of China's overall trade statistics for September. House says that part of the pick-up comes amid shift in the timing of the Mid-Autumn Festival, leading to more working days last month than in September 2016.

The politically volatile surplus with the United States was $28.1 billion. The surplus grew to $28.08 billion from $26.23 billion in August. Imports rose 18.7 percent to US$169.8 billion, an improvement from August's 13.3 percent. The customs agency said it will publish details its trade in specific products with North Korea on Oct 23.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently pressed China on the "need to rebalance bilateral trade and investment relations" and urged it to take "meaningful action" on trade issues.

China accounts for roughly 85 per cent of North Korea's external trade and is seen by many as the key to forcing Pyongyang to at least freeze its nuclear and missile programmes.

China's imports of North Korean goods plummeted for a seventh consecutive month in September.

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