China Overtakes US As World's Largest Trader (Except With Japan)

Tyler Durden's picture

Overnight China reported disappointing export data, missing expectations of +5%. The gvoernment explained this on the basis that they were losing their competitive edge since the Yuan has strengthened to 20 year highs but perhaps most telling is that fact that, as the FT reports, China became the world's biggest trader in goods for the first time last year - overtaking the US for all of 2013. We suspect the powers that be are starting to get nervous as this comes soon after China's surge to become the world's largest oil importer marking a notable shift in the world's most powerful nations - as trade with the rest of Asia and increasing flows with the Middle East represent a shift in power away from the US.


There is one exception.. of course - net imports with Japan continues its 3 year trend lower as tensions between the two nations sour further.



Via The FT,



The total value of China’s imports and exports in 2013 was $4.16tn, a 7.6 per cent increase from a year earlier on a renminbi-adjusted basis, according to figures released by the Chinese government on Friday.


The US will release its full-year figures in February but its total imports and exports of goods amounted to $3.57tn in the 11 months from January to November 2013, making it a virtual certainty that China is now the world’s biggest goods trading nation.


Some historians argue China was the world’s largest trading nation during the Qing dynasty – which lasted from 1644-1912 – despite the ambivalence of Chinese emperors toward foreign trade.


This is a landmark milestone for our nation’s foreign trade development,” said Zheng Yuesheng, chief statistician of the customs administration.


Mr Zheng said he expected a stronger showing in 2014, thanks to an improving world economy, the impact of structural reforms in China and a lowered outlook for commodity prices, which would help offset rising costs of labour and financing for Chinese manufacturers.


One can only note that nothing lasts forver...



However, as always with China, there is a caveat...

The Chinese government itself has expressed some concern about Chinese trade data in late 2012 and early 2013. Statistics officials have acknowledged that during that period export numbers in particular were distorted by a huge amount of fake invoicing by companies and individuals evading China’s strict capital controls to move cash in and particularly out of the country.


That will probably lower growth figures for the first months of this year.


We should be prepared for a period of low headline year-on-year export growth due largely to the faked exports data between December 2012 and April 2013,” said Lu Ting, China economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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Musashi Miyamoto's picture

It's coming but it has not gotten here yet. We have 11 aircraft carriers to protect our trade interests, they still only have a green water navy.

malikai's picture

Congrats Japan on completely fucking up your trade surplus to China.

It was an expert execution.

Musashi Miyamoto's picture

Nobody want's to buy our sushi. It's just not fair...

ich1baN's picture

Don't just blame Japan... You've obviously never been to China before. Go there for a day and say the word Japan at the top of your lungs in Beijing.... let me know if you get a plane ride back to the States. 

Fact is I've never see a nation more jingoist than China. Google Victor David Hanson and you will see he compares China to Pre War World II Japan. 

Handful of Dust's picture

I like China but it is way too crowded and the pollution is extreme. However, I know many colleagues who are moving there for jobs, esp in the science and engineering fields. Most of them are bilingual and the whopping salary increase seems to make it worth it for them. It's odd how time turns the wheel of fortune...they came over here for "a better life and better jobs..." and now are heading back for the "better job."

malikai's picture

> a year here and you say: "You've obviosuly never been to China before." to me.


Belrev's picture

shift in power away from the US - you mean all Jews moved to China now and took their money there?

tarsubil's picture



btw they're fake.

Quintus's picture

We should be prepared for a period of low headline year-on-year export growth due largely to the faked exports data between December 2012 and April 2013,” said Lu Ting, China economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Lu Ting?  Seriously?  His parents must have known he was destined for a career in banking.

new game's picture

good for them,best wishes and good luck with all the headaches of being number one.

hail the new fuck up!

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

do i trust the commie Chinese or the facists USA, decisions, decisons

fijisailor's picture

And slowly but steadily China is trading their cash for physical gold.  They have patience with this and welcome price suppression.

youngman's picture

This is Chinas long term get their middle class buying and working...

Kaiser Sousa's picture

CNBS already saying "this number is so out of whack it cant be right..."

laughing my mother fucking ass off...

bunch of wall st. banker owned ASSHOLES.......

fijisailor's picture

Yea.  The stooges will decide that derivatives are industrial production and USA will be number 1 again.

GetZeeGold's picture



CNBS already saying "this number is so out of whack it cant be right..."


Yeah.....those guys say lots of stuff.....they're pretty out of whack.

I can hear Joe Kernen now......I hate those assholes.....I hate them.....I hate them.....I hate them.

Muddy1's picture

And yet they don't question the projected low cost of Obamacare, the high numbers of people that will be insured, the low numbers of illegals seeking amnesty, nor the high numbers that'll actually get amnesty.

They don't question the lowering unemployment reate, nor do they mention the numberof folks who have given up, etc., etc, and etc, infinitum.

Basic rule: statisticians/economists figure and figures lie.  They can make the number anything they need it to be and come up with the same convoluted reasoning the Chineese use.

old naughty's picture

"CNBS already saying "this number is so out of whack it cant be right..."

hence, "...the powers that be are starting to get nervous..."

disabledvet's picture

The USA is Space Trucking now...leaving the Federal Government in the dust I might add. "Rock on China and Japan"...Space X is the only game in town.

q99x2's picture

Bitcoin is the reserve currency now bitchez.

Rising Sun's picture

fucking cracks me up - a communist country that builds empty cities - their currency is now a threat to the USD reserve status - the same USD that is used in 60% of global transactions.


just keep exporting your cheap stuff China - it makes for better profits than "made in the USA"


Colonel Klink's picture

I love the name of the employee working for BoAML, Lu Ting = Looting!  Hahahahaha  PERFECTION!

esum's picture

WOW OH WOW...  china with 20% of the world population just got even with / slightly beat out the ussa with 4.45% of the world's population.... OMG... simply shocking.

Perhaps that is why the market keeps going up in addition to the funny money being printed. What percent of the market will ussa multinationals grab? the ussa is going sideways in growth... china has a long way to go... funny how the commie countries and former commie countries embrace capitalism while the ussa slides into the libtard socialist black hole abyss .. bankers, lawyers and liberals / parasites have fucked up the ussa beyond repair. stupid is the new ussa norm.