China trade surges as global demand recovers from pandemic

BEIJING (AP) — China’s exports surged 32.3% over a year ago in April as global consumer demand strengthened, while imports rose 43.1%.

Exports rose to $263.9 billion, in line with the previous month’s growth but down from the explosive 60.6% rise in the first two months of 2021, customs data showed Friday. Imports increased to 43.1%, accelerating from March’s 38.1% expansion.

Exports to the United States rose 30.8% over a year ago to $42 billion despite a lingering tariff war with Washington, the General Administration of Customs of China reported. Imports of American goods rose 23.5% to $13.9 billion.

China’s global trade surplus narrowed by 5% to $42.8 billion, an indication demand is recovering faster in China than in the rest of the world. Its political volatile surplus with the United States widened by 33.4% to $28.1 billion.

Exporters have benefited from the relatively early reopening of China’s economy and demand for masks and other medical supplies while some governments are re-imposing anti-virus curbs that limit business and trade.

Traders are watching for signs of what President Joe Biden might do about reviving tariff war talks with Beijing.