China’s Imports Grow 17.6% In September, Missing Expectations

In September, China’s Export rise surprisingly sped up since solid global demand still nullified some of the burdens on factories amid the power crisis, a resurgence of domestic COVID-19 cases, and supply bottlenecks. 

Signs Recovery Is Losing Steam

The second-largest economy of the world has left an incredible pick up from the pandemic situations but there are possibilities the recuperate is losing steam. Resilient exports could extend grace for continuous growing headwinds incorporating weakened factory activities, substantial soft consumptions, and a waning real estate sector.

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In September, outbound shipments reached 28.1 percent from the previous year, rising from a 25.6 percent surplus in August. Through Reuters, analysts polled depicted anticipated growth would come to 21 percent.

What Did The Greater China Economist, Erin Xin Say?

As per the statement by Erin Xin, Greater China economist at HSBC Erin Xin, Greater China economist at HSBC, “Exports have continued to outperform and accelerate, even after omitting the impact of base effects,” he further added that previous shipments of vacation customer products given global supply chain disturbances many be underneath the perpetuated strength in exports.

What Is The Opinion Of The Other Analysts?

The other analysts stated that limited distribution of power in September may have not impacted the exports till now but could prove to be a hindrance in production activities and which could also result in inflation of cost for Chinese manufacturers in the coming months.

Power Crisis Resulted in Halted Production

The power crisis which has occurred due to the transition to clean energy, solid industrial demand, and the increased price of commodities has resulted in the halting of production activities at multiple industries which also includes the big companies like Apple (AAPL.O) and Tesla (TSLA.O) from the late September.

Chaos in Work Schedules

The factories situated in the eastern provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang, both major significant export powerhouses have been requested to linger their production over the week and many factory owners are even dissenting regarding the chaos that this power shortage has caused to work routines.

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As said by King Lau who supports the operation of a metal-coating factory in the export city of Dongguan, earlier the factories were allowed to operate during the night but now the restriction is for 24 hours on the days of controlled distribution. The factory has been asked to suspend the use of government electricity for three days this week.

However, the head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics, Louis Kuijs, remains positive regarding the export perspective in the nearest quarters stays solid instead of near-term headwinds.

“We generally expect these disruptions to ease over the coming months, as we expect senior policymakers to stress growth and to call for the pursuit of climate targets on a more measured timeline.”

China’s Imports Grow 17.6%
China’s Imports Grow 17.6%

“Further out, we think exports should be underpinned by the ongoing global economic recovery and a gradual easing of global supply-chain disruptions next year.”

In the recent reports, data has addressed retardation in the production activity. The manufacturing PMI of China unanticipatedly contracted in September since industrial sectors suffered from the inflated costs and restrictions over the consumption of electricity.

What Is The Effect Of These On The Real Estate Sector?

Further, the real estate sector which is a key sector of growth is spinning from the continuous rise of defaults of Chinese Developers, since the sale of real estate is falling, the construction of any new property also begins very slowly.

According to Reuters polls, analysts have expressed low expectations for the full-year growth of China from 8.6 percent which is seen in July to 8.2 percent with a further decline to 5.5 percent in 2022. The growth in the third quarter could have reached to a mere 0.5 percent from 1.3 percent in the second quarter every quarter.


The imports of China in September have risen to 17.6 percent, dragging an estimated surplus of 20 percent in a Reuters poll and growth of 33.1 percent from the earlier month.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, the senior China economist at Capital Economics, said that “The breakdown showed a broad-based decline across all good types, though it was particularly pronounced for inbound shipments of semiconductors,” further he added, “Lower import volumes of industrial metals add to evidence that environmental curbs and cooling construction activity are weighing on heavy industry.”

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Nevertheless, the demand for energy in China has been rising rapidly.

In September, the import of coal reached the highest this year since the power plants scampered fuel to advance electricity generation to facilitate the power crisis and restore the stocks before the heating season of winter.

The rise in Natural Gas Imports

In September, the import of natural gas also reached its highest ever since January this year.

China Trade Surplus

In September, China has also marked a surplus of $66.76 billion in trade, in competition with the estimated by-poll for a surplus of only $46.8 billion and $58.34 billion in August. China’s trade surplus with the United States goes upward to $42 billion whereas Reuters forecast based on customs data, up from $37.68 billion in August.