China’s May imports accelerate at fastest pace in decade

China’s imports grew at their fastest pace in 10 years in May, fuelled by surging commodity prices, while export growth missed expectations, customs data showed on Monday.

Exports in dollar terms grew by 27.9 percent in May from a year earlier, slower than the 32.3 percent growth reported in April and missing analysts’ forecast of 32.1 percent.

Imports increased by 51.1 percent year-on-year last month, picking up from a 43.1 percent rise in April but slower than the 51.5 percent rise tipped by the Reuters poll.

It was the fastest import growth since January 2011. China posted a trade surplus of US$45.53 billion for the month, wider than the US$42.86 billion surplus in April but less than the US$50.5 billion expected by analysts.

A brisk recovery in developed market demand and disruptions caused by the coronavirus disease in other manufacturing nations have strengthened China’s exports, analysts said.

However, exporters are grappling with higher raw material and freight costs, logistics bottlenecks and a strengthening yuan, which diminishes trade competitiveness.

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