Trade war hammers China's imports, exports in June

China imports from US plunge in June amid tariff war

In the readout of the Xi-Trump meeting published by the state-run Xinhua news agency, it only mentioned that Mr Trump said he hoped China could increase imports from the USA, and didn't say how Mr Xi or the Chinese team responded.

China's trade surplus with the United States rose 12% in yuan-terms in the first half of this year, the customs agency said on Friday.

China has started preparing to buy farm products, including gauging the prices of US soybeans, but will not purchase large amounts until it sees concrete progress in the negotiations, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

"It's a move to manage market expectations" when a lot of uncertainties, especially the trade war, are clouding China's economic outlook, said Raymond Yeung, chief Greater China economist at ANZ Bank. However, it appeared as if he was taunting this possibility as he tweeted on Thursday that he is hoping for Beijing to "start soon" in purchasing American agriculture products.

It is unclear if Trump's statements are legitimate at this point since the Chinese government previously denied White House claims that it reneged on commitments that were part of the trade talks. China's imports from the United States plunged 31.4 percent in June from a year earlier amid a tariff war with Washington, while exports to the US market sank 7.8 percent, Customs data released this morning showed.

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

With global growth slowing and USA tariffs on Chinese goods hurting demand from China's biggest export market, Chinese shipments have been weak for the past few months.

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

Chinese leaders express confidence their economy can survive the tariff fight.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on the phone with their Chinese counterparts this week, marking the first high-level contact following the G-20 meeting. It gave no details or a date for more contacts. Analysts polled by Bloomberg News had forecast exports to dip 1.4 percent and imports to fall 4.6 percent. Mistrust between Washington and Beijing runs high. "While a deal makes sense for both sides this year, it's far from guaranteed and could hit many more snags".

When questioned last week about Trump's claim in Japan that China had agreed to buy "tremendous" amounts of USA farm goods, Gao said that the two nations had large room to cooperate on agriculture, and hoped that a solution could be reached on the basis of equality.

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