China’s exports increased 32.2% from a year earlier in dollar terms, accelerating from a 27.9% gain in May, data from the General Administration of Customs showed Tuesday. The reading was far stronger than the 23.2% growth forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, defying concerns that China’s post-Covid export boom was coming to an end.
China’s exports, a key engine of the country’s economic rebound after the coronavirus outbreak, had shown softness in recent months in the face of rising raw material costs, weakened overseas demand for Chinese-made goods and global shipping delays. Lockdown measures introduced in late May to tame a flare-up in Covid-19 cases in the southern province of Guangdong, an economic and export stronghold, had economists worried about a prolonged impact on trade in Shenzhen’s Yantian port, one of the world’s busiest.
Tuesday’s data, however, have allayed some economists’ concerns. Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics, said exporters appeared to be “shrugging off the impact of the temporary Shenzhen port closure and other supply-chain bottlenecks.”