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China-Australia trade grows 39.9% from January to August: customs figure

2021/9/8 11:24:49   source:Global Times

Despite fraught bilateral ties, China's trade with Australia rose by 39.9 percent to reach $152 billion from January to August, accelerating from the 34.2 percent growth rate recorded in the first seven months, Chinese customs statistics revealed on Tuesday.

Some analysts predict, due to falling price of iron ore, the two countries' trade volume in September could be vulnerable to a sharp decline.

In breakdown, China's exports to Australia rose by 27.0 percent to $40 billion from January to August compared with a year earlier, tying with the 26.5 percent growth recorded in the first seven months.

China's imports from Australia have surged by 45.3 percent to reach $112 billion from January to August. That compared with a 37.4 percent rises in imports in the first seven months.

The rise in China's imports from Australia is due to China's increasing import of iron ore which has surged significantly during the first half of the year, said Zhou Fangyin, a professor at the Guangdong Research Institute for International Strategies.

The price of iron ore surged 71.2 percent in the first eight months to reach 1,153 yuan ($178.5) a ton. Due to the rise in average imports prices, China's imports of iron ore grew 82.6 percent from last year.

However the bilateral trade volume is expected to slow down in the second half due to the cooling iron ore demand and prices, Zhou said.

"I Iron ore prices have dropped significantly in September which is expected to dampen the trade value between the two countries through the end of the year," Zhou told the Global Times on Tuesday.

According to news.com.au, the price of Australian iron ore plummeted by 6.7 per cent to $143 a ton on Thursday, a 40 per cent drop since the commodity's all-time high in May when prices soared to $237 a ton.

In the long run, bilateral trade between the two countries is likely to decline due to a weakening demand for Australian iron ore as China has been cutting steel production to meet the goal of carbon neutrality by 2060, Zhou said. The impact of this policy will be measurable in Australia's iron ore exports over coming months, he said. 

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