Workers load goods for export onto a crane at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China, June 7, 2019.
BEIJING – China bought fewer American products in May than the previous month, while exports to the US rose, according to customs data released on Monday.
China bought $ 13.11 billion in goods from the United States in May, up from $ 13.94 billion in April, data accessed through Wind Information showed. The May figure marked the lowest monthly figure since October, the data showed.
While Chinese imports from other countries grew the fastest in 10 years overall – by 51.1% – US import growth slowed to 41% in May from 52% in May.
As a result, China’s trade surplus with the United States rose to $ 31.78 billion in May, up from $ 28.11 billion in April. The surge comes despite former US President Donald Trump’s efforts to reduce that surplus.
According to the U.S.-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, China is still lagging behind in fulfilling its agreement to buy more American goods, as set out in the first-phase trade deal signed in January 2020.
The US remains China’s largest single-country trading partner despite trade tensions. In the past two weeks, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Trade Representative Katherine Tai spoke separately for the first time under President Joe Biden with Chinese Vice Prime Minister Liu He.
China’s exports to the United States rose to $ 44.89 billion in May, up from $ 42.05 billion in April. However, the pace of growth slowed from 31% in April to 21% year-on-year.
Overall, Chinese exports also grew more slowly, up 27.9% yoy in May in dollars, compared with 32.3% in April.