China posts a $31.5B trade deficit in February, surging past estimates of $4.9B (and whispers of...

China posts a $31.5B trade deficit in February, surging past estimates of $4.9B (and whispers of $28B) as imports jumped 39.6% Y/Y vs. exports at 18.4%. For about the 10th week running, analysts caution against reading too much into the data thanks to the Lunar holiday. Whatever. China and Japan are posting trade deficits - the world is changing.
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Comments (20)
  • bbro
    , contributor
    Comments (11227) | Send Message
    China has $3.2 trillion in FX reserves...they can afford to run trade
    10 Mar 2012, 07:35 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (16356) | Send Message
    Does that sound like a country whose internal growth is stalling?
    10 Mar 2012, 07:50 AM Reply Like
  • SA Editor Stephen Alpher
    , contributor
    Comments (562) | Send Message
    The Y/Y growth figures are probably the only numbers from the report that are totally devoid of meaning as the Lunar holiday took place in February of 2011, but January 2012.


    Since the country was shut down for a week in Feb 2011, but not in Feb 12, Y/Y import growth of 40% means little. Probably shouldn't have been included in the MC!
    10 Mar 2012, 08:16 AM Reply Like
  • YuanYuan
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    Isn't it the opposite that China is consuming more and internal growth is increasing?
    11 Mar 2012, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • wmbeam02
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
    Not trying to sound sarcastic but would the Chinese skip a week of importing oil last year (the lapping you're referring to) just because of their new year?
    14 Mar 2012, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • JohntheOld
    , contributor
    Comments (202) | Send Message
    Below is cut from the article -


    China imported a record 5.95 million barrels of crude oil per day in February, up 18.5 percent on year ago levels
    10 Mar 2012, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • J 457
    , contributor
    Comments (1000) | Send Message
    Buying depressed US coal stocks.
    10 Mar 2012, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • Conventional Wisdumb
    , contributor
    Comments (1800) | Send Message
    China currently has an inverted yield curve. Not sure if historically this is meaningful for them but it would be meaningful in a US context as it would be a strong recession indicator.


    This was the first time I have seen this particular chart and it was quite surprising to me but I have no idea how prevalent this is historically when it comes to the Chinese yield curve.



    If anyone has any insights on the Chinese yield curve please post it.
    10 Mar 2012, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • Trader2708
    , contributor
    Comments (212) | Send Message
    Clear sign of incoming recession (not just hard landing). Many will be unpleasantly surprised by the degree of "hard landing" in China.
    10 Mar 2012, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • AxiosCap
    , contributor
    Comments (312) | Send Message
    People need to consider the size of the differential betw expectations and actual. Ok so the country shut down for a week (not literally true), but one week would not cause such a wide miss. Folks need to wake up to the reality that Japan has crossed over its Rubicon and China is a house of cards with wildly manipulated data from central command. The other thing people need to learn is that the US CANNOT decouple from the rest of the world. This isn't the 1950s. The world is a very small and very intertwined place these days.
    10 Mar 2012, 11:26 PM Reply Like
  • The_American
    , contributor
    Comments (147) | Send Message
    China will become The World Reserve Currency. They have said it. Stated it. They are right on course to taking over from the USD and it will come sooner than we think.
    ALL Politicians whether Senate or Congress the Buffett Rule should become LAW effective immediately. These people sitting in office all care for themselves and none for America. They have abused all privilege and I speak to ALL for the exception of maybe a few and I probably speak for most of The American People.
    SUPER PACS should be outlawed!!
    If people knew what this was our donations would mean nothing to the Hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars that will corrupt and dictate our Liberty & Freedom.
    Thomas Jefferson once said BANKS can do more harm and damage than standing ARMIES!
    Well here you have it. Does anyone going to listen to a minority whip on either party over Warren Buffett? Some things can agree to disagree but a stupid man he is certainly not.
    He sees wants going on and knows the stakes although he can never announce this publicly. Imagine if he said he allocated 5% into Gold & Silver. Ha Mainstream would go bananas and those words alone could send gold to 2500.
    CHINA SECRET - they study us. Academic, military, innovation, you name it. The country is buzzing and has no clue of a recession. Jim Chanos who is well respected has been calling for a hard landing. Never underestimate your competition. They have been Right On.
    I worry Long Term within 10 years or less between Corporate America & Russia & the EU companies and all their technology & Innovation in our publicly traded companies these short term gains for their quarterly profits is very short sighted as we have given up our most Precious Commodity - Our Intellectual Property rights that will lead to long term losses.
    This will ultimately effect earnings long term with our Fortrress Balance Sheets and there is so much we can do in America.
    It's time we clean our OWN backyard, cut red tape on regulations. It's just sick. We have aaprox 800 new regulations every year for over 10 years. That is Insane and shows the disconnect in our Country.
    I don't care for Politics, I care for America and I fear we are at A Tipping Point.
    I wrote all about this in my previous blogs last year of Gold & Oil going higher which decreasing consumer spending.
    We need to do what we use to. Have Morals & Care for America. Our Children's Futures are in our Hand.
    We NEED a National Smart Grid Infrastructure Project. The biggest the World has ever seen.
    We are the richest nation on Earth with the most horrible rankings in Education, healthcare, and we are losing Innovation.
    China is hard at work and they will have the largest NAVAL fleet Before we know it. They already stated it about building Aircraft Carriers and the constant Cyber Attacks which have been confirmed coming from China. They have already hacked into Americas largest Oil & Gas Companies, our Mining Industries, Google and with such sofistaction Google said they never saw anything like it. It's all there and you can Google it.
    Everything mentioned in this article is all public information that has been on the news already.
    But this is just the beginning. What will China be like in 10 years from now. How friendly will they be with Russia for their Metals and Iran for their Oil.......The Political Landscape is changing and our Represeenatives are arguing over payroll tax. Its a shame and I sure hope they wake up. They need term limits and America needs an Overhaul from the Ground Up.
    11 Mar 2012, 06:44 AM Reply Like
  • Venerability
    , contributor
    Comments (3043) | Send Message
    This is what the World WANTS and what China NEEDS!


    China, with the biggest population on earth, is very rapidly converting that poulation into the world's biggest Bourgeosie - the world's biggest Middle Class.


    When the US was rapidly becoming more Bourgeois and consequently building its domestic economy and infrastructure, everyone knew they should welcome it!


    That's when the catch-phrase about the US being the "locomotive" of the world's growth train came about.


    Now China is becoming that "locomotive."


    It's the most Bullish development imaginable.


    Only it doesn't jibe with what the holdouts supporting an American Empire want.
    11 Mar 2012, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (16356) | Send Message


    The key takeaway that investors should welcome is that China, Latin America and other emerging markets are all creating that "Bourgeosie." That's what is going to drive ever-larger global business development and results.


    Investors should be far less concerned about whose "empire " it is and much more that there is one, or actually many, in the making.
    11 Mar 2012, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • RM13
    , contributor
    Comments (1264) | Send Message
    Chinese yuan cannot become reserve currency of the world as long as China is not transparent in its internal economic dealings and does not follow letter of any law, except that of corruption. While you may not like what Is happening to US dollar in terms of its devaluation and 'money printing', that's transparent to all. Chinese companies fake their results on regular basis, is it any different for Chinese government?
    12 Mar 2012, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • inzane
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    Your point is well taken. But in the end World Commerce may have to take the lesser of two evils.
    12 Mar 2012, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • inzane
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    NOTE: The "Estimates" were $4.9 Billion - the Reality was $31.5 Billion. This is why I always roll my eyes when the "Experts" give their assessment (i.e., your guess is as good as mine).
    12 Mar 2012, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • RM13
    , contributor
    Comments (1264) | Send Message
    Determination of 'reserve currency' is made by democratic vote of the market. Chinese yuan is significantly manipulated, as well as China's economic data. I don't anticipate that any significant portion of world's economic voting bloc (investors and central banks) trust yuan enough. So while US dollar may have its warts and cancer, I think you are more likely to see a basket of currencies emerge as reserve currencies. Some US/NZ/Aussie dollars, Chilean peso, Swedish krona, Swiss franc, Japanese yen, and Chinese yuan thrown in. Heck, I'm not a gold bug but I see the appeal of some gold holdings as reserves in this scenario.
    12 Mar 2012, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (16356) | Send Message


    No basket ever will or can emerge because a reserve currency is almost by necessity part of sovereign power, not the result of academic exercises. That's what ensures its existence, not bureaucrats. No "UN" of currencies is going to replace the dollar. If it's ever replaced, it will be by a currency with an army behind it.
    12 Mar 2012, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • inzane
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    Could not agree more with all the comments. So nice to be on a site where intelligence and respect reign. It should be interesting to note how Nixon's ditching of Brent Woods will all play out. Armies are very efficient at spreading religion and currency obeyment. It's hard to run gold through a printing press 24/7. And who would trust the Chinese? Remember what the Arabs and their oil did after the great inflation of the early 70's and what a mess that produced. Sounds like we need a nice mess to clean things up. I wonder if the ghosts of Mao are awakening as the Chinese rich get richer and the poor Chinese don't have enough hours in a day.... and why should they share precious water with those Indians. The world is always in flux; you just have to stay connected and nimble. Nice to be around people who think. While I'm thinking. I still think the biggest story of 2011 was that China and Japan decided to conduct their trading in the own currency. Am I alone in that assessment?
    13 Mar 2012, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • RM13
    , contributor
    Comments (1264) | Send Message
    Tack: To think that another currency solely replaces the dollar would be short-sighted. There have been periods in world history where no single currency dominated - European interwar period, for example - when British pound, French franc, and US dollar were all used as reserves in one form or another. What should stop a major international from debt issuance in multiple currencies, hence, hedging currency exposure? What will stop deals signed by international miners in local currencies, both for labor as well as with end markets? These real life situations are the real market, not products of single or multiple governments.
    14 Mar 2012, 11:26 PM Reply Like
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