Chinese exports rebound in May as virus controls ease

A worker produces paddleboards for export at a factory in Binzhou, eastern China’s Shandong province, June 6, 2022. – AFP pic

Thursday 09 June 2022 12:21 MYT

BEIJING, June 9 — Chinese exports rebounded strongly in May, data showed on Thursday, with factories restarting and supply chains untangling as Shanghai slowly emerged from a grueling lockdown.

The city of 25 million underwent a stuttering lockdown from late March and then went into full lockdown for about two months as China adheres tightly to a zero-Covid approach to tackling the outbreak.

Strict movement restrictions in several cities – sometimes in just a few cases – have kept consumers at home and hurt the economy, dragging retail sales, industrial production and export growth to their lowest levels. low for about two years.

But as restrictions eased, overseas shipments from the world’s second-largest economy rebounded 16.9% year on year in May, from 3.9% in April, according to customs data released Thursday.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected a spike of 7.6%.

However, observers warned that the rebound could be short-lived.

“Significant disruptions in the Yangtze River Delta over the past two months and Beijing’s determination to pursue its zero Covid strategy may cause some overseas customers to shift orders to… neighboring countries,” Nomura analysts said. in a recent note. .

Imports rose 4.1% last month, according to customs data, also beating expectations.

China’s trade surplus was about $79 billion (RM347 billion) last month, up from $51 billion in April, the customs administration said in a statement. —AFP

James V. Hayes