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China calls for patience as trade surplus with United States soars in Q1

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"It is our hope that through this collective effort, we will be able to move the administration away from the use of economically damaging tariffs and toward the development and implementation of a more strategic plan to impact Chinese trade practices".

India's merchandise exports fell for the first time in five months in March and the trade deficit widened amid concerns over global trade and USA moves to review a programme allowing duty-free imports of goods.

March import growth of 14.4 percent beat expectations, however, suggesting China's domestic demand may still be solid enough to cushion the blow from any trade shocks.

China's trade surplus with the United States surged by a fifth in the first three months of the year with Beijing calling on Washington Friday to be patient as tensions between the economic superpowers simmer.

China's exports to the US increased 14.8 percent from a year earlier in January-March period, spokesman Huang Songping told a briefing in Beijing, while imports from the USA also rose 8.9 percent.

For the first quarter as a whole, exports still grew a hefty 14.1%.

For the year ending in March, goods exports rose 9.8 percent to $302.8 billion from a year ago, while imports rose 19.6 percent to $459.7 billion.

Analysts had expected imports to grow 10.0 percent in March, picking up from 6.3 percent growth in February.

In 2017, China imported 1.4 billion bushels of USA soybeans, 62 percent of total US exports and almost one-third of USA annual soy production.

That produced an unexpected trade deficit of $4.98 billion for the month, but such shortfalls are not uncommon for China early in the year, again likely due to holiday distortions.

China has said it expected reasonable growth in broad M2 money supply and total social financing this year.

New Delhi is anxious that its exports of engineering goods and services to the USA and China could be hit following a possible slowdown in global trade this year. US President Donald Trump has threatened a series of tariffs on hund-reds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, sparking tit-for-tat warnings from Beijing. "The current state of trade affairs is shaped by the market", he told a briefing in Beijing.

The Austrian officials signed $1.85 billion in contracts with China, according to the report.

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