China’s export growth likely moderated slightly in October but remained strong due to robust global demand, easing global supply chain disruptions and a mitigating power crunch, while imports surged on energy demand.
Exports are expected to have risen 24.5% in October from a year earlier, according to the median forecast of 22 economists in the poll, after growing 28.1% in September.
Imports likely rose 25% in October from a year ago, the poll showed, compared with 17.6% in September, as oil prices rose and China stepped up coal imports to secure power supplies ahead of the winter.
“Peak consumer demand during the holiday season in Europe and the United States drove the exports of consumer goods in October. And pre-emptive buying from corporates in response to the supply chain-related delivery delays has been strong,” said analysts at Industrial Bank said in a note.
However, they added that export growth could have eased slightly due to high base for comparison with a year earlier.
South Korea also reported double-digit export growth for October, propelled by post-lockdown recoveries in major markets, which pushed up demand for Korean chips and petrochemical products.
China’s economy has staged an impressive rebound from the pandemic but there are signs the recovery is losing steam, weighed by slower industrial growth, a freezing property sector and persistently soft consumption.
Factory activity shrank for the second straight month in October, an official survey showed. Growth in industrial output also eased to the lowest since March 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic.
Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday that authorities would effectively fine-tune policy amid renewed downward pressure on the economy and challenges faced by market entities.
Analysts argue a resurgence of COVID-19 outbreak across a large swathe of China has yet to have a material impact on supply chains.
“We do not expect the COVID resurgence to result in meaningful supply chain disruptions or export price reflation,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a note on Thursday.