China’s dollar-denominated exports rose 7.2% while imports fell 1.4% from a year ago, data from the country’s General Administration of Customs showed on Friday.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected China’s dollar-denominated exports to fall by 0.2% from a year ago, while imports were predicted to have risen 1% from a year ago.
In June, China’s dollar-denominated exports posted a rise of 0.5% compared to a year ago, and imports rose 2.7% in the same period.
In July, China posted a trade surplus of $62.33 billion, beating the $42 billion economists had expected. China’s trade surplus was $46.42 billion in June.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic hitting global demand, exports from China have held up as exports in medical supplies jumped in the first half of the year.
The trend persisted into July, noted Martin Rasmussen, China economist at Capital Economics.
“Much of the recent resilience of exports has been due to shipments of masks, medical products and work-from-home equipment,” Rasmussen wrote in a note following the data release.
Rasmussen said China’s stimulus-led recovery looks set to continue in the coming months — and this would support a rebound in imports.
Foreign demand is also likely to continue to recover as disruptions related to the pandemic ease. However, the upside to China’s exports may be limited as the demand for products related to the pandemic is likely temporary, he added.
Ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions also pose a downside risk.
Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are reportedly expected to review the implementation of their phase one trade deal next week.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.