China’s November trade balance data is here: China trade balance for November: $ 54.5bn (expected +$43.95bn)

In brief … imports into China much lower than expectations and exports not as strong as expected.

Comments now from China Customs Agency (via headlines on Bloomberg)

  • China expects exports growth to face pressures at the end of 2014 and into early 2015

more to come … OK then, maybe not. Normally after China trade data the comments from the Customs Agency keep on coming for 45 minutes or so … but not today.

OK, well here are some thoughts on the data via Bloomberg economists:

  • Fake invoicing at the end of 2013 was rife, which makes the base for measuring 2014 artificially high
  • Estimate that trend growth for China’s exports is likely in the high single-digits – enough to ” to prevent weakness in domestic real estate from crippling growth, though not good enough to give the economy a real boost”
  • On the import side, part of the explanation for a shrinking import bill is falling prices … with oil prices & iron ore are down shrinking imports overstate the fragility of China’s economy
  • Looking forward, the outlook for China’s exports appears mixed. Taiwan export orders, which tend to lead the Asia export cycle, showed robust 13.4 percent year-on-year growth in October … but China PMI data, on the other hand, shows export orders lackluster