China imports plunge 16.7 pct y-o-y in May amid coronavirus, Hong Kong trade dispute

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China’s exports in May fell a less-than-expected 3.3 percent compared with a year earlier, but imports plunged 16.7 percent, customs data cited by Reuters showed on Sunday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast exports would tumble 7 percent from a year earlier after a 3.5 percent gain in April.

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Imports were estimated to have contracted 9.7 percent, recovering from a slide of 14.2 percent in April.

China posted a trade surplus of $62.93 billion last month, compared with the poll’s forecast for a $39 billion surplus and $45.34 billion surplus in April.

Coronavirus, Hong Kong trade status key factors

Chinese authorities have railed against the announcement by US President Donald Trump that he would strip Hong Kong of its special trading status after China moved to impose its security law on the city.

The move violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), claimed Beijing on Thursday.

“If the United States disregards the fundamental principles of international relations and adopts unilateral measures according to its domestic laws, it will violate WTO rules and will not be in the interest of the United States,” Gao added at a regular press briefing.

The spat comes amid the ongoing expectation of the worst global recession in a century as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Saturday, the G20 pledged more than $21 billion to fight the coronavirus, according to a statement by the group after an extraordinary summit convened by the Saudi G20 Presidency.

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