China exports rise despite ongoing trade row with US

People's Bank of China

Yuan traders are finally moving on from the 7-per-dollar complex that has gripped the market for years.

China bought small amounts of US soybeans, wheat, sorghum and pork last week ahead of the latest escalation of trade tensions with Washington, according to USA government data issued on Thursday, in what may be the last American farm commodity sales to China for the foreseeable future. However, state bank transactions in the swap market this week have helped slow the decline.

July exports rose 3.3% from a year earlier, the fastest since March and more than the most optimistic estimate in a Reuters poll, customs data showed on Thursday.

"We don't have much choice but to wait for the trade tensions to subside, " said Mr. Chen, whose firm produces pet supplies that are set to be hit with higher tariffs from September 1.

But the trading point was firmer than traders had expected, and was seen as a signal that authorities wanted to stabilise the decline in the currency.

The USDA report confirmed that export shipments of USA agricultural goods have continued despite the rising tensions.

Retaliatory tariffs resulted in a 17-percent drop in USA exports for products that have been targeted, it added.

China Customs said general trade had grown steadily in the year to date, with its proportion in the country's overall foreign trade getting higher. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Analysts suggested that the United States was using the claims as leverage in its ongoing trade war with China, which it sees as its major global competitor.

China's trade surplus fell to $45.1 billion for the month, from $51.0 billion in June.

And last week USA army Pacific commander General Robert Brown said the U.S. would be conducting war game exercises which will focus on a scenario in the South China Sea.

It reached $168.5 billion in the first seven months of this year, highlighting continued imbalances, which have been a core complaint of US President Donald Trump in his administration's negotiations with Beijing.

The US branded Beijing a "currency manipulator" in response.

The central bank on Thursday set the starting point for the yuan's daily trading at 7.0039 to the USA dollar - the first time since 2008 that the level was set below the politically sensitive level of seven to the dollar.

A weaker yuan might lead to an outflow of capital from China, raising borrowing costs at a time when Beijing is trying to shore up cooling economic growth.

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