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October US Exports Plunge By Most Since January 2009 As Trade Deficit With China Hits Record

Tyler Durden's picture


The boost to GDP from the declining US trade deficit is over. While the September trade deficit number was revised further lower, to $40.3 billion from $41.5 previously, October saw a pick up to $42.2 billion, slightly less than the expected $42.7 billion, but a headwind to Q4 GDP already. As a result, expect a modest boost to Q3 GDP in its final revision, even as Q4 GDP continues to contract below its consensus of sub stall-speed ~1%. The reason for the decline: a 3.6% decline in exports of goods and services. This was the biggest percent drop in exports since January 2009 as the traditional US import partners are all wrapped in a major recession. What helped, however, was the offsetting drop in imports by 2.1%, the lowest since April 2011, as US businesses are likewise consumed by a concerns about the global economy. And without global trade, whose nexus just happens to be Europe, there can be no global or even regional recovery. So far, all hopes of a pick up in global economy have been largely dashed. Yet one country benefits from the ongoing US slump is China: imports from China - consisting primarily of computers and toys, games, and sporting goods- jumped 6.4% to a record $40.3 billion, offset be a modest rise in exports - primarily soybeans - to $10.8 billion, bring the China deficit to a record $29.5 billion from $29.1 billion in September. Of course, one wouldn't get that impression looking at the Chinese side of the ledger: the Chinese Customs department, reported a September and October trade surplus with the US amounting to $21.1 and $21.7 billion. One wonders, somewhat, where the over $16 billion difference has gone.

Combined trade deficit:

Just exports:


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Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:06 | Link to Comment jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

That people should work and make their own stuff, rather than contract that sort of thing out to others to do it for them, better and cheaper, is only an assumption, right?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:05 | Link to Comment old naughty
old naughty's picture

Interesting time. Chess play between a newly re-elected and a newly elected.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:08 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Weren't the seas supposed to have been lowered and our exports to have been doubled by now?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:17 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Doc you have to remember the math here. With the debt half means doubled and with the exports doubled means half.

“Today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.

…I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay, and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.”

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:25 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

True....I forgot we live in bizzaro world.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:11 | Link to Comment pods
pods's picture

Just a marketing issue.  

I am sure every little Chinese kid wants in on a subprime MBS?


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:14 | Link to Comment SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Who the F cares?   TPTB have the same answer to every question:  SCOREBOARD.  (SP 1424)

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:13 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"One wonders, somewhat, where the over $16 billion difference has gone."


<Just guessing here.>

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:14 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

knockoff iphones are the likely culprit. :snark:

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:15 | Link to Comment semperfi
semperfi's picture

Are American companies & real-estate considered "exports" when China buys them?  If so, we'll be running a trade surplus soon.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:15 | Link to Comment Racer
Racer's picture

Got .... to.... keep... 'market' .... up... for ....bonus

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:15 | Link to Comment LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

The only reason exports have crashed so hard is because our recovery is sooooo strong that we are buying all the shit for ourselves. Forward!

Fuck you Obama and Bernanke. Wealth and production destroying fucks.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:15 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Everything plunging? Doesn't matter at all, they built another concrete floor under yesterdays ramp and futures comfortably green again to build another firm floor under. Wont be red all day I bet. 

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:16 | Link to Comment PUD
PUD's picture


Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:20 | Link to Comment semperfi
semperfi's picture

Contrarily, there's plenty of rope and chains.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:16 | Link to Comment game theory
game theory's picture

I blame my wife...she bought more xmas tree lights from china...and they burn out every damn year.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:37 | Link to Comment The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

"pranned obsorecense"

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:16 | Link to Comment youngman
youngman's picture

Its just numbers..headline be repeated in front of some camera some elected idiot..or page reader

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 14:09 | Link to Comment GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

 It seems that every day someone, somewhere is trying to tell us that China is crumbling, and yet they obviously have the west by the balls.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:20 | Link to Comment evolutionx
evolutionx's picture

CDS on Italy exploding:

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:25 | Link to Comment azzhatter
azzhatter's picture





Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:26 | Link to Comment Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Did we run out of gold to export?

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:29 | Link to Comment forwardho
forwardho's picture

Yet another wave of reality crashes against the make believe construct of the current paradigm.

When enough of the foundations have been undercut, the construct will become structurally unstable.

In construction this is called,"catastrophic failure"

Gravity sucks.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:39 | Link to Comment overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

the big item is the F'n Cliff..MSM 24/7 on it quick look over here...they gotta have somth'n they can control for good news as in GOP caves Obuma gets his tax and the cliff gets resolved ..thats the game plan and it will get the market higher even if half the S&P went BK in the mean time. up is down down is up.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:11 | Link to Comment MFLTucson
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Tue, 12/11/2012 - 11:13 | Link to Comment reader2010
reader2010's picture

one billion+ chinese iphone knockoffs for the masses of china.

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 16:29 | Link to Comment lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Now just imagine the trade deficit if America stopped selling weapons to terrorists states!

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