Chinese exports blow past forecasts but raise doubts

China's exports accelerated to +10.6% on year in January from +4.3% in December and slayed consensus for a rise of just 2%.

Imports increased 10% vs +8.3% and +3%.

The trade surplus grew to $31.86B from $25.6B and vs forecasts for a drop to $23.65B.

However, analysts are skeptical: they had expected that the long Lunar New Year holiday would drag on trade last month, whilst other economic data has been disappointing. They warned that the trade figures, as in the past, could have been boosted by fake transactions by traders looking to avoid capital controls and bring cash into China.

"We find this strong level of export growth puzzling," says Nomura economist Zhang Zhiwei. "It is unclear to what extent the strong export data reflects the true strength in the economy." (PR)

The Shanghai Composite is +0.3%.


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Comments (9)
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (4412) | Send Message
    Given an SEC administrative judge recent ruling barring the Chinese arms of the big 4 accounting firms in this country from auditing any US companies for 6 months I'd say taking any data from China with a grain of salt is not a bad thing
    12 Feb 2014, 04:04 AM Reply Like
  • Eudaimonia
    , contributor
    Comments (952) | Send Message
    Yeah China is all fraud and US account is superb.
    12 Feb 2014, 04:40 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (4412) | Send Message
    I know. But if you ever watched an Asian performance or movie you might notice they can go overboard in the overacting dept. like when CAT couldn't locate $650M worth of Chinese revenues for 1 quarter or another when Chinese exporters, last March, reported a sudden 93% jump in exports to Hong Kong for one month. Need to be more subtle about it like in the west. We just call em accounting irregularities. Either way for now markets should like this just reported Chinese number
    12 Feb 2014, 06:25 AM Reply Like
  • Mike Holt
    , contributor
    Comments (1863) | Send Message
    Some speculate that the export numbers were fabricated not by the government but rather by business owners trying to bring cash into the country. There's really no way to tell--maybe the numbers have been embellished on both fronts--but its understandable why business owners would want to bring cash into the country: with Chinese high yield money market accounts [aka "wealth management products] yielding 10% to 20% and the cost to borrow in the US next to nothing, this is the next best thing to owning a printing press. I guess many have decided "if you can't beat them, join them." Besides, the music is still playing and will likely continue until low interest rates that facilitate investments in labor saving technology and equipment and that favor capital intensive industries over labor intensive industries cause US unemployment numbers to improve.
    12 Feb 2014, 06:57 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (4412) | Send Message
    Follow the money. No way this could go on without party bosses' blessing who can change any behavior overnight there if /when they want to. Obviously both sides are benefiting.Today China also reported highest copper imports since 2001 while OPEC raised its 14 oil demand outlook. But EEM led by Chinas no 2nd global economy trailed the SPY badly in 13 . At some point China will need to add more transparency to a pretty opaque financial system if they want peoples perception of their capital markets to change
    12 Feb 2014, 08:36 AM Reply Like
  • samuel_liu
    , contributor
    Comments (2753) | Send Message
    "business owners trying to bring cash into the country"


    that's what traders have been doing often for a long while so that the govt can report greater export figures via Hong Kong.


    The thing about bringing the reexporting back into Cn, the trader would get hit with another tax.
    12 Feb 2014, 07:46 AM Reply Like
  • canb888
    , contributor
    Comments (673) | Send Message
    The way I read this news, the analysts are mostly wrong again and they blame it, without any facts, on everything except themselves.
    12 Feb 2014, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • Fear & Greed Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (10277) | Send Message
    same analysis / different day , they rush to the exits on a bad report , but the same crowd doubts any report that is positive -- its comical
    12 Feb 2014, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Physical Receipt
    , contributor
    Comments (1012) | Send Message
    Integrus Chinese trade data is an oxymoron...whatever they publish - cut it by at least a third
    12 Feb 2014, 12:58 PM Reply Like
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