China’s trade surplus with U.S. hits record high of US$34 billion

A cargo ship is seen at a port in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province on Friday

China's trade surplus with the United States surged to a record high of $34.13 billion in September, compared with $31.05 billion in August, according to Reuters.

As the trade war between the U.S. and China escalates, the U.S. President has warned there's a lot more he could do to hurt China's economy.

The United States is tightening controls on China's imports of civil nuclear technology to prevent use for military or other unauthorized purposes, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Thursday amid increased trade tensions. "We expect both to soften in the coming quarters".

China's overall export growth accelerated, temporarily defying forecasts of a slowdown as the global economy and consumer demand cool.

The trade war entered a new level in September, with the U.S. imposing 10 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion worth of goods imported from China, effective as of September 24, which could escalate to 25 per cent in January 2019, while China fought back with tiered tariffs from 5 to 10 per cent on US$60 billion of United States goods.

Communist officials have ordered companies to stop buying American soybeans - the biggest USA export to China - and find alternative suppliers and export markets for other goods.

The move comes as the United States is waging a trade war against China, with roughly half the products China sells to the USA each year now facing tariffs.

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With global growth cooling and USA threats of more tariff hikes, "the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained", said Evans-Pritchard.

Beijing's export data has been surprisingly resilient to tariffs, possibly because companies ramped up shipments before broader and stiffer USA duties went into effect, raising concerns about a sharper drop in export strength once all tariffs kick in.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

Analysts had expected imports to rise 15.0 percent, compared with August's 19.9 percent.

China's economy is feeling some heat from tariff dispute and signs of slowing that prompted the central bank on Sunday to loosen policy by cutting banks' reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for a fourth time this year. An official survey also confirmed a further manufacturing weakening.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecasts for this year and next, saying that the U.S-China trade war was taking a toll.

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