China's imports and exports fell more than expected in September, official data showed on Monday, as cooling demand at home and overseas hit trade in the world's second largest economy. "Steven Mnuchin came out a year ago and said, 'Oh, we're 90% there, we're 90% there, ' only to find out in fact they were not close at all", declared Bartiromo.
President Donald Trump announced Friday that the US and China had agreed to a partial trade deal, which Trump referred to as "phase one" of ongoing negotiations.
"They got the tariff increases on hold for next week, and financial services industry, they got a big plus because they have been told that they won't have those limits in terms of how much you can own of a Chinese company", she continued. Analysts had expected a 3 per cent decline in a Reuters poll after August's 1 per cent drop. Analysts say that is a result of additional tariffs imposed by the two countries on one other last month.
Economists also attributed the export slowdown to a fading in the so-called "front-loading" effect.
China would only be willing to scale back its trade levies if the U.S. reciprocated by rolling back some of its own trade tariffs, the same people said.
The figures were worse than a Bloomberg forecast, which estimated exports to drop 2.8 per cent and imports fall 6.0 per cent. The volumes also fell 27.9 per cent from 4,950 tonnes in September 2018.
Nomura's Lu pointed to subdued imports in the raw material processing sector and softening global commodity prices possibly playing a role in depressing overall imports. The Wall Street Journal published an interesting report the other day, noting that it was China that "emerged with wins" from the trade talks.
For the first nine months of the year, Chinese imports of American goods were off 26.4 percent at $90.6 billion.
"According to the preliminary information, the agricultural products purchased by Chinese enterprises from the United States this year include: 20 million tons of soybeans, 700,000 tons of pork, 700,000 tons of sorghum, 230,000 tons of wheat, and 320,000 tons of cotton".
Mnuchin said he anticipates shelving the December 15 tariffs because the agreement will be completed before then.
The country's politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States contracted by 16.5 percent from a year earlier but stood at $25.9 billion.
Raymond Yeung, chief Greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, said that despite the latest progress, tensions are unlikely to ease soon and the economic risks will linger as talks move through various stages.
The purchase of US agricultural products so far this year include 20 million tonnes of soybeans, 700,000 tonnes of pork, 700,000 tonnes of sorghum, 230,000 tonnes of wheat and 320,000 tonnes of cotton, according to Geng. If that sticks, a boost to confidence may be ahead, though it's not clear if another round of tariffs due for December will be implemented or not.