China Defends Credibility Of Its Trade Data

Tyler Durden's picture

That China openly manipulates, goalseeks and otherwise distorts its economic data is no secret to anyone: and it is not at all surprising - after all the Chinese GDP model is based on how much goods and services are produced, which means end demand is completely irrelevant, and thus unfalsifiable. It also explains why as part of its miraculous 8% GDP growth year after year, we get such wonderful externalities as ghost cities, the biggest mall in the world lying totally empty, and shoddy buildings that tumble over. But one piece of data that not even China dared to fudge was trade data, for the simple reason that every Chinese "credit" is someone else's "debit", and vice versa, and could therefore be easily confirmed or denied. After all, bilateral trade is always a zero sum game. Except... in China. Which is what the observent eyes of some ANZ (and even Goldman) analysts caught over the weekend, and as was described in "Even Goldman Says China Is Cooking The Books." It didn't take long for China to take offense and boldly state that there is nothing at all wrong with its books.

From Bloomberg:

China’s customs administration said every dollar of trade is documented, defending the quality of export data that analysts at UBS AG and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said may fail to capture the true picture.


Customs import and export statistics are based upon actual customs declarations,” the General Administration of Customs said today in an e-mailed statement, responding to questions submitted by Bloomberg News on Jan. 11. “In our published export and import data, every dollar has a corresponding customs declaration document to back it.”


Customs collects trade statistics “in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations,” according to the agency’s statement. Companies within special-trade zones, or bonded zones, that have actual transactions with overseas partners are included in the statistics, while transactions with domestic companies aren’t included in data, customs said.

In other words, all the customs declarations in China are bogus. Thank you for clarifying. And this is the kind of quality data sourcing that global equity rallies are made of.

Which also means that, as the next premier Li Keqiang said years ago, only three actionable Chinese data indicators remain: electricity, rail cargo and loans. And last time we checked these were not confirming any of the buoyant resurgence in the world's second largest economy.

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AccreditedEYE's picture

Man, what a surprise... market is dipping again this morning. Hmmm... maybe I should buy it?

GetZeeGold's picture



They keep the real data locked away in the ghost cities.

King_of_simpletons's picture

Aren't we a little: "Do as we say, not as we do" ? these days.

Our data isn't pristine either. It is replete with manipulations and distortions.

GetZeeGold's picture least we still don't do slave labor......thanks to Obama's ancestor Abe Lincoln. Doesn't look a damn thing like him....but I'll take his word for it.

trav777's picture

China's data is obfuscated by all the pollution; nobody can see nuffins

clawsthatscratch's picture

The Emperor always has a divine ancester, though in the old days it was Jupiter, Apollo, etc ;)

achmachat's picture

officially denied... taht's all we still needed to be sure.

thank you China.

GetZeeGold's picture



Almost got through it without laughing........almost.

LMAO's picture

...I laughed from the get-go....

China Defends Credibility Of Its Trade Data

That's some Confucian doublespeak right there.

Credibility that needs defending, WTF!? If it needs defending, it's not credible.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

But PROC is whole time deny sick with Influenza.

GetZeeGold's picture



No one has gotton sick over there since Mao took over.....and if they do they just kill them.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Is remind Boris of Lysenko lies. Every year plant wrong crops, people starve, but always have declaration of huge agricultural output.

TotalCarp's picture

Thats not obvious to me actually.. The reverse linkages to europe and us are softer then the other way around i suspect. Plus.... In this brave new world of central money printer planning.. Noone is ever gonna sneeze again.
They'll keep going till 1 day they drop dead...

Rainman's picture

The algos don't care if it's truth or bullshit....witness all other ' free and efficient markets ' 

JPM Hater001's picture

Im still long Chinese walls.

youngman's picture

One suprising thing this AM....Burberry had good results....the raincoat people....very chi chi.....anyway the London stores did well....but that well came from 40% of tourists...mainly Chinese buying we used to think that China was a cheap manufacturing hub for the world...building plastic crap for they are the support for many retail and car manufacturers......funny...they are the economy now.....their numbers...who knows....but they seem to have lots of money sloshing around...and they like nice things.....and there is another billion or so of future middle class there.....

PoorMan429's picture

Walk around Gucci, Burbeery, Saks, or any other Retail store on 5th Ave. Chinese woman running around with white envelopes full of 100's. Been that way for 5 years at least. Still that way today.

Wakanda's picture

Cat tastes just like chicken, what's the problem?


Sudden Debt's picture

the problem is THAT IT WAS MY CAT!!!!!

Gohn Galt's picture

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!

lizzy36's picture

Want to know how China a great book called Tombstone:The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962.

Cannot recommend this book enough. Twenty years of research by a chinese journalist. The book is banned in China.

Inthemix96's picture

The PROC is still far more credible than the shower of shite we have here folks.

At least (as far as I am aware), their bosses are not, and are not covering up for the fact that the vast majority of them are fucking peodophiles, over here everyone from the media, the politicos, and the Met are covering for, or are themselves involed with the heinious abuse of children.

At least they only seem to curb shit.

mvsjcl's picture

Yep. The Slog's been doing a pretty good job of keeping a spotlight on the issue.

Inthemix96's picture

Have a look at a bloke I have just found out about,

Google "Chris Spivey", this bloke has a grasp that Mr Ward cannot convey mate, he tells it like it is.  Having said that John knows what he is talking about, but after these recent revelations, I do believe a little anger is called for.

firstdivision's picture

How about those magical Retail numbers for last month?  Did we import some Chinese economists to assist with compiling the data?

Sudden Debt's picture

demand is completely irrelevand




Sudden Debt's picture

Customs import and export statistics are based upon actual customs declarations

OH!!!! And that's why I want to buy something in China and get it through customs without any mess, THEY PUT "GIFT" ON THE BOX!!


ceilidh_trail's picture

Where's ananon to give us the real scoop??

akak's picture

The 'real scoop'?

Make me laugh.

The needingness of 1.3 billion pooper-scoopers to clean up the 'chinese' roadsides throws the hypocritizenism of George Dishwashingtonymous under the Guangzhou bullet train.

But when reflexive self-denialism and blameplacing to the exterior is in the mix, can only expect sloppy finger painting offuscationalism from the mattering ones.

Alas, alas, woe to the rationalizations of Little Red crustiness.
Just have to bear with it.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Where's ananon to give us the real scoop??

AnAnonymous busy preparing for lunchtime crowd at his JKC (Just Killed Cat) Chinese citizenism fast 'food' franchise.

Today he adding to menu new appetizer: pickled dog taint in hot mustard sauce.

Disenchanted's picture

Maybe the Eight Immortals should be consulted...

silverserfer's picture

most dishonarable trade data