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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

China Trade Surplus Is Growing Fast

"China Posts $15.9 Billion Trade Surplus for January" is the headline on Bloomberg News. China's trade surplus grew 65% year-over-year to $15.9 billion in January. That's the fifth highest growth rate on record. Exports increased 33% to $86.6 billion, the fastest growth rate in 17 months.

Meanwhile, growth in imports rose at a 27.5% clip to $70.7 billion, or double the rate in December.

The US is not happy with China's record trade surplus. In a complaint to the World Trade Organization, the US alleges that "60% of Chinese-made goods sold in the U.S. are eligible for 'market-distorting' export subsidies.

China's response: "Whoop-de-doo!" Just kidding. The Chinese have called the complaint: "regretttable."

Looking forward, China's trade surplus "may remain at relatively high levels, between $15 billion and $20 billion monthly, in the near term,'' according to Ma Jun, an economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Hong Kong.

To me, it doesn't sound like China is slowing down. And that means it's unlikely the commodity supercycle will slow down anytime soon.

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