China’s exports in November jumped 12.7 percent YoY to $202.2 billion, more than doubling October’s 5.6 percent gain and topping easily general growth projections. Many analysts forecast an increase of 7.1 percent for the moth.
Customs data show that November business rose on the back of strong demand from the EU, the US and South Korea.
The first two markets continue to be critical China. In Global Sources’ latest supplier survey, the EU and the US ranked first and second among respondents’ current biggest market. The two will switch places in terms of importance come first-half 2014.
Rising orders from the US and Europe helped boost November exports at Xiamen Lightray Optoelectronic Technology Co. Ltd by about 5 percent. The supplier of LED bulbs and light fixtures plans to secure BV certification and invest more than $130,000 in R&D in the year ahead to sustain business.
The Wuzhu Circuit Group took a different route on the road to 10 percent growth in November by focusing on business with new buyers. The supplier has been making PCBs for 20 years and boasts a monthly capacity of 350,000sqm.
China’s strong November numbers, however, have raised questions similar to those made earlier this year over the 14 percent jump in December 2012 exports. China economic observers attributed the increase then to seasonal and accidental factors, although fabricated exports were not ruled out.
This time, some analysts think data “may have been distorted by capital inflows disguised as trade deals,” according to BBC News.
In the article, Shenyin Wanguo Securities analyst Li Huiyong observed that lower imports and higher exports point to hot money flows. “And the less than expected imports in November and higher than expected exports precisely illustrate this point."
Some observers, on the other hand, believe November figures are solid. Royal Bank of Scotland economist Louis Kujis said, “While there may be issues with trade credit, it is nowadays less easy for companies to "make up" exports, given the tighter monitoring since May.”
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.