Archive for ‘shipments’

09/03/2019

China exports saw biggest fall in three years in February

Men stand on a port in ChinaImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Chinese exports saw the steepest fall in three years in February, adding to worries about growth in the world’s second largest economy.

Official data show exports from China plunged 20.7% from a year earlier, as its trade war with the US took a toll.

Imports fell 5.2% and the figures sent Asia stock markets sharply lower.

Economists caution the data for the first two months of the year can be affected by the Lunar New Year holiday.

The fall in exports was far bigger than the 4.8% drop forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

Imports also saw a sharper than expected fall of 5.2% year-on-year, the data showed.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, Senior China Economist at Capital Economics said even accounting for seasonal distortions, the figures were “downbeat”.

“Tariffs are weighing on shipments to the US,” he wrote in a research note.

The US and China have placed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of one another’s goods since July, casting a shadow over the global economy.

Even though officials have sounded more positive about negotiations with the US recently, failure to achieve a deal would see tariffs on $200bn (£152bn) of Chinese goods rise almost immediately and could see the US impose fresh tariffs.

Still, Mr Evans-Pritchard said “broader weakness in global demand means that, even if Trump and Xi finalise a trade deal soon, the outlook for exports remains gloomy.”

The data comes as Beijing this week unveiled $298bn worth of tax cuts to boost slowing growth.

Source: The BBC

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23/02/2019

Australia seeks clarification on China coal import ‘block’

Ships and containers at a port in Dalian, ChinaImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionOne of China’s biggest ports is reported to have halted Australian coal imports

The Australian government says it is seeking an “urgent” clarification from Beijing over reports that a major Chinese port has halted imports of Australian coal.

Australia is a top supplier of coal to China, its biggest export market.

Beijing has not confirmed the reported halt in the port of Dalian, but called changes in such arrangements “normal”.

Canberra sought to play down speculation on Friday that the matter may be linked to bilateral tensions.

Australian officials said there was “confusion” over the situation, and they were consulting their Chinese counterparts.

“I wouldn’t jump to conclusions. The Australia-China trading relationship is exceptionally strong,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Fears about the issue have prompted a fall in the Australian dollar.

What has happened?

On Thursday, Reuters reported that China’s Dalian port region would not allow Australian coal to pass through customs.

The news agency quoted officials as saying that only Australian coal had been affected, with no limits placed on Indonesian and Russian shipments.

It said other Chinese ports had delayed Australian coal shipments in recent months.

A machine places coal in stockpiles at a coal port in Newcastle, AustraliaImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionCoal is Australia’s biggest export commodity

Australian trade officials said they had been notified of recent industry concerns about market access.

When asked about the reported halt, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang offered general comments that authorities sought “to safeguard the rights and interests of Chinese importers and protect the environment”.

What else is being debated?

Some security analysts in Australia have suggested it could be a tit-for-tat move by China, after Australia blocked tech giant Huawei from providing 5G technology.

“The banning of those coal shipments is a form of coercion against Australia. It’s punishment against states that resist China’s pressure,” said Dr Malcolm Davis, from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Other recent tensions have emerged over allegations – denied by Beijing – of Chinese interference in Australian politics and society.

However others, including the head of the Reserve Bank of Australia, have suggested that China’s concerns about its own coal industry may be behind any such halts.

Blocking “a couple of months of coal exports” would not hurt the Australian economy, said Philip Lowe.

“If it were to be the sign of a deterioration in the underlying political relationship between Australia and China then that would be more concerning,” he said.

Mr Frydenberg said: “We can see these occasional interruptions to the smooth flow but that doesn’t necessarily translate to some of the consequences that aspects of the media might seek to leap to.”

Source: The BBC

08/01/2019

China smartphone shipments seen down 12-15.5 percent last year – market data

(Reuters) – Smartphone shipments in China fell between 12-15.5 percent last year, market data indicated, suggesting a bleak outlook for the sector at a time when behemoths Apple (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) have already issued dour forecasts.

China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a research institute under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said shipments dropped 15.5 percent to roughly 390 million units for the year, with a 17 percent slump in December.

Market research firm Canalys estimates shipments fell 12 percent in China last year and expects smartphone shipments in 2019 to dip below 400 million for the first time since 2014.

The Chinese smartphone market, the world’s largest, could shrink another 3 percent this year, Canalys said, in what would be a third straight year of declines. Smartphone shipments in the country had fallen 4 percent in 2017.

Shipments are the number of smartphones that manufacturers deliver to retailers and carriers, different from sales that happen when customers actually buy these smartphones.

The plunge in Chinese shipments expected in 2018 could lead to a 1 percent contraction in the global smartphone market, Canalys said.

Apple triggered a selloff in global markets last week after it took the rare step of cutting its quarterly sales forecast citing slowing iPhone sales in China.

China boasts the world’s biggest smartphone market, but a slowing economy, exacerbated by a trade war with the United States, has seen demand for gadgets drop across the tech sector.

TuanAnh Nguyen, a Singapore-based analyst for Canalys, told Reuters that China was now a fully mature market and lengthening refresh cycles for smartphones would be the new normal.

“Weaker economic growth and lower consumer confidence will likely hit the premium segment well into the first half of 2019,” Nguyen said.

“Apple certainly was the biggest victim of this trend, with added effects from the fact that it’s lagging behind local competitors in innovation and attractive pricing,” he said.

Apple rival and supplier Samsung on Tuesday estimated that its fourth-quarter earnings plunged 29 percent and that profitability would remain subdued in the current quarter due to weak demand for its memory chips.

Also, Samsung’s display business is struggling due to the lack of growth of its own devices as well as worse-than-expected performance of Apple’s X/XS/XS Max iPhone series, Nguyen said.

Chinese firms Huawei and Xiaomi (1810.HK) are challenging Samsung’s dominance in many key markets, he added.

Huawei dominates the Chinese market, where the once-market leading Korean firm is now nearly a bit player.

Samsung controls over a fifth of the global market, followed by Huawei, which has a 14-percent market share, Canalys said.

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