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Chinese exports are growing as global demand for the virus recovers

BEIJING (AP) – China’s exports rose 60.6% year-on-year in the first two months of 2021, following the reopening of factories and the global coronavirus outbreak.

Exports reached $ 468.9 billion, according to customs data on Sunday, accelerating from December’s 18.1 percent profit, almost doubling growth, according to forecasters. Imports increased by 22.2% to $ 365.6 billion, compared to a 6.5% increase in December.

Chinese authorities are combining trading data for the first two months to offset fluctuations in the lunar New Year holidays that fall at different times each year in January or February. Factories are shut down for up to two weeks, then recharged.

Exporters benefited from China’s relatively early reopening of the economy after the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the disease last March, while foreign rivals still face anti-virus control.

According to forecasters, the growth of Chinese exports should slow down, as the demand for masks and other medical supplies is easing, and competitors abroad are returning to world markets. Trade officials have warned that the global situation is still “difficult.”

Exports to the United States rose 87.3% year-on-year to $ 80.5 billion in January-February, despite rising tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump in the fight for trade, technology and security. They were replaced by his successor, Joe Biden, who took office in January.

Economists and political analysts expect little change during Biden’s frustration with allegations of Chinese trade, human rights registration, technological theft, espionage in Washington.

On Friday, China’s top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, announced plans to accelerate technology development and reduce dependence on other countries. It threatens to worsen tensions for Washington and Europe, which have complained that Beijing is breaking market promises by protecting its suppliers from competition.

Recent trade figures seem particularly sharp compared to the beginning of 2020, when the ruling party closed factories to fight the virus and trade fell.

Subsequently, world exports fell by 17.2% in the first two months of last year to 2020. Exports to the United States fell 27.7%.

This year, Lee announced “more than 6%” economic growth targets, which should help boost demand for foreign oil, iron ore, food, consumer goods and other imports.

Beijing promised last January to buy more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports aimed at ending the tariff war in the First Phase. The two sides have agreed to delay further tariff increases, but penalties for each other’s billions of dollars in goods still remain.

China has lagged behind in meeting those commitments, but has begun to do so as demand has returned.

China’s global trade surplus in January-February was $ 103.3 billion, up from $ 7.1 billion in the same period last year.

Imports of US goods increased by 66.4% to $ 29.3 billion. China’s trade surplus with the United States fell 17.7% year-on-year to $ 20.9 billion.

In January-February last year, exports to the 27 countries of the European Union increased by 62.6% to $ 73.7 billion. Imports of European goods increased by 32.5% to $ 45.9 billion.

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