China's exports hold up despite US tariffs

Relations between the world's top two economies have soured sharply this year as US President Donald Trump slapped roughly half of Chinese imports with higher taxes.

China's exports hold up despite US tariffs

China's exports to the United States and the rest of the world grew more than expected in October, official data showed Thursday, as its traders apparently rushed shipments across the Pacific ahead of higher tariffs.

Top Chinese officials are currently in Washington, with hopes that those talks could pave the way for a breakthrough on trade later this month when Trump meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina.

Still, in October exporters continued to hurry goods across the Pacific, with China's exports to the US surging 13.2 percent from the same period last year, according to the data released by China's customs administration.

"October's surprisingly strong export performance seems to have been partly due to a continuous front-loading effect and is unlikely to be a long-term trend," said Betty Wang, China economist at ANZ.

China's trade surplus with the US fell to $31.8 billion in October, from a record $34.1 billion in September.

October marked the first full month of US tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods -- but the tax rate is set to jump from 10 percent to 25 percent come January.

Trump has repeatedly boasted the US could not lose a trade war with China, but Beijing's retaliatory tariffs on American goods have been more damaging so far.

China's imports from the US fell 1.8 percent in October on-year, while its surplus with the US expanded to $258 billion for the first 10 months of the year.

Analysts estimate the upcoming meeting of the two heads of state will fail to resolve the friction.

"We do not expect the sideline meeting of Xi and Trump during the G20 would be positive," said Iris Pang of ING Bank.

"We just hope that the meeting won't create further damage to the trade relationship," Pang told Bloomberg News.

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