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China's trade surplus with the US narrows in October

  • China's trade surplus with the U.S. fell to $26.62 billion in October from $28.08 billion in September
  • China's trade surplus with the U.S. was $222.98 billion in from January to October of 2017
  • Overall, China's October exports rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier, and imports grew 17.2 percent
Chinese steel companies are a key source of risky debt.
Kevin Frayer | Getty Images
Chinese steel companies are a key source of risky debt.

China's trade surplus with the U.S. fell to $26.62 billion in October from $28.08 billion in September, the Customs department reported on Wednesday ahead of President Donald Trump's visit to the country.

China's trade surplus with the U.S. was $222.98 billion in the first 10 months of 2017, Customs added.

The U.S. trade deficit with China is in focus as Trump travels to Beijing on Wednesday, where he will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Overall, China's October exports lagged market expectations, rising 6.9 percent from a year earlier while imports beat forecasts, growing 17.2 percent, official data showed on Wednesday.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $38.17 billion for the month, according to a Reuters calculation based on official data.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected October shipments from the world's largest exporter to have risen 7.2 percent, slower than 8.1 percent in the previous month.

Imports had been expected to rise 16.0 percent, softening from an 18.7 percent gain seen in September.

Analysts had forecast China's trade surplus to have widened to $39.5 billion in October from September's $28.61 billion.

After several lean years, China's trade performance has rebounded this year thanks to strong demand at home and abroad.

While exports are contributing to China's economic growth once again, global investors have been more focused on its strong appetite for industrial commodities such as iron ore and coal, which is boosting resources prices worldwide.

—CNBC contributed to this report.