• China's exports fall 17% .. the biggest drop since February 2019


    Chinese exports fell sharply during the first two months of this year, under the weight of fears of the emerging Coronavirus, which paralyzed economic activity and hindered the supply chain in the world.
    According to "French", Chinese exports collapsed 17.2 percent, compared to the same period last year, in the largest decline in exports of the Asian giant since February 2019 during the trade dispute with the United States, and imports fell 4 percent.
    Economists polled by the "Bloomberg" agency had expected a lower decline in exports, likely to reach 16.2 percent, but in return, they expected a larger decline in imports of 16.1 percent.
    The first outbreaks of the new coronavirus were recorded in December in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei Province, prompting the authorities to isolate the important industrial zone, which has a population of 56 million people, starting in late January.
    Measures to contain the disease, which has killed more than 3,000 people in China, including movement restrictions and quarantine, have hit a labor and supply network.
    Under these circumstances, the surplus in the Chinese trade balance with the United States, which is a major sticking point in the trade dispute between the two countries, shrank by 40 percent in the first two months, from 42 billion dollars last year to 25.4 billion.
    This is the first time that the Chinese authorities have published combined trade data for January and February, and the procedure is consistent with how some indicators are issued to mitigate differences after a holiday, but the situation this time is unusual because of the epidemic.
    Julian Evans-Pritchard of the Research Center, Capital Economics, said in a report that the merging of January and February data means that "the published growth rate does not fully reflect the size of the weakness in the recent period."
    This was due to the fact that business turmoil was mostly concentrated in February, and added that the recent decline in trade was "greater" than the data likely indicates.
    Xu Xiaoxun, an economist at Moody's Analytics, said that the decline will likely continue in part of March, saying that "accurate data such as coal and energy consumption, as well as the use of the metro, indicate that workers are slowly returning to their jobs."​

    In another indication of the expected economic repercussions, Chinese manufacturing sector activity declined in February to the lowest rate, as well as non-manufacturing activity.
    With the emergence of the emerging Coronavirus around the world, not only will the Chinese economic slowdown, which puts its weight on global growth, which could shrink in the first quarter.
    "What started as a supply shock in China has turned into something more dangerous," the Oxford Economics Institute said in a report, and business turmoil casts doubt on China's ability to fulfill its part of the partial trade agreement signed with the United States in January, in which Beijing committed to increasing its purchases of goods. And US services amounted to 200 billion dollars, but the Chinese authorities stressed that the repercussions of the virus will be "short-term" and announced a series of support measures.
    Chinese foreign trade volume fell 11 percent year on year during the first two months of 2020, to 591.99 billion dollars, according to statistics released by the General Administration of Customs.​

    This is the first time that the administration has disclosed such figures since the outbreak of the new Coronavirus in China last December.
    A statement from the Customs Administration stated that the decrease is "mainly due to the effects of the Coruna virus outbreak and the Spring Festival holiday."
    Exports of manufactured goods, in particular, have experienced massive declines in the past two months, steel exports have declined 27 percent, data-processing equipment and spare parts have decreased 26 percent and game exports 26 percent.
    Although imports as a whole decreased, some commodities bucked the trend, coal imports increased 33 percent, crude oil imports 5 percent and soybean imports, a key part of the US-China trade agreement, which was finalized last December, jumped. By 14 percent.
    While trade with Europe, Japan, and the United States were affected, declining by 14 percent, 15 percent, and 19 percent, respectively, trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Asian countries and its Belt and Road initiative partners increased.​
    And increased imports from Asian countries, 9 percent and trade between China and the belt initiative and the road of 1.8 percent.
    Meanwhile, First Kleenius, head of German carmaker Daimler, warned against a return to economic nationalism against the backdrop of the new Corona epidemic.
    "Such events illustrate how weak global supply chains are, but a world without a global division of labor will be less successful," Kleinius said in comments to the magazine "Der Spiegel" in its issue issued yesterday​.
    Kleines believes that it would be a mistake for each country to manage the economy in a nationalist future, explaining that global intertwining is what has led to economic growth over the past decades, saying that "we must defend that, and at the same time search for weaknesses, and where More security can be achieved for supply chains. "
    Kleines said that his company is gradually resuming production in China after the start of the Chinese New Year holiday, which was extended due to the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, adding, in turn, that the crisis will have effects on the company, adding: "We cannot now predict the extent of the consequences, but it is clear that The damage will affect production and sales. "​

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