Russian-Chinese trade up 20.8% in 2017, to $84.07 bln

Russian-Chinese trade up 20.8% in 2017, to $84.07 bln

Yuan-denominated imports rose 18.7 percent a year ago, which produced a trade surplus of 2.87 trillion yuan.

China may face a trade deficit within the next five to 10 years as the next phase of the economy's development will require the country to ramp up imports, according to one of China's top economists.

It was the weakest annual growth in imports since December 2016.

The trade data also showed China's goods surplus with the USA, a sore spot in relations between the two nations, hit a record high a year ago.

Imports missed analysts' forecast of 13.0 percent growth and were a sharp decrease from the 17.7 percent rise in the previous month.

China's exports increased 10.8 percent to reach 15.33 trillion yuan while imports surged 18.7 percent to 12.46 trillion yuan in 2017.

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The government is planning to announce GDP data for 2017 next week.

In regard to North Korea, China said exports and imports to and from North Korea fell by 23.4% and 81.6% respectively in the year to December.

The trade surplus totaled $54.69 billion in December versus the expected surplus of $37.0 billion.

That came even as the overall surplus fell 17 percent to $422.5 billion, bringing the share of the USA portion of the surplus to 65 percent past year, up from 49 percent in 2016.

"However, later this year, we believe real effective exchange rate appreciation and an increase in USA protectionism could weigh on Chinese export growth, narrowing the trade surplus further".

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