According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, imports went up by 51.1% in May, the fastest pace in a decade, though less than expectations of 51.5%. The figure was still greater than the previous month's 43.1% increase. Exports increased by 27.9%, less than expectations of 41.6%.
The trade balance stood at 45.53 billion, below expectations of 50.5 billion, though over the previous month's 42.85 billion.
China's trade is currently booming mainly because of the increasing demand from the rest of the world, which is currently recovering from the pernicious effects that the COVID-19 virus had on the global economy.
“It’s still a fairly healthy set of numbers,” commented an analyst from Informa Global Markets during an interview with Bloomberg TV. “We know that global demand is still recovering and that trend is likely to continue towards the end of the second quarter and into the third quarter as the major developed economies open up.”
Exports to the United States rose by 21%, followed by exports to the European Union, which went up by 13%.
China has been able to stave off the advance of the COVID-19 virus, though the number of cases have been surging recently in the Chinese industrial hub of Guangzhou, which pushed the local authorities to impose restrictions in the zone. Among the restrictions there is a request for all the residents and individuals that have visited the area to get tested. Certain public venues and businesses, such as restaurants, were ordered to stop offering their in-site services.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 91,267 coronavirus cases have been reported in China, as well as 4,636 deaths. Many doubt the official reports which imply that China is one of the least affected countries, at least among the powerful ones. There is currently an ongoing controversy regarding China’s role in the origin of the pandemic, given President Joe Biden's call to investigate the possibility that the pandemic began because the virus was leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.
More tensions with both the United States and Australia are expected. Recently, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai claimed that there are important imbalances in the trade relationship between the US and China. She added that Biden's administration is committed to leveling the trade relationship.