Chinese Imports Crash & Worst January Export Plunge Since 2009 Sends Trade Surplus To Record High

Tyler Durden's picture

Chinese imports collapsed 19.9% YoY in January, missing expectations of a modest 3.2% drop by the most since Lehman. This is the biggest YoY drop since May 2009 and worst January since the peak of the financial crisis. Exports tumbled 3.3% YoY (missing expectations of 5.9% surge) for the worst January since 2009. Combined this led to a $60.03 billion trade surplus in January - the largest ever. But apart from these massive imbalances, everything is awesome in the global economy (oh apart from The Baltic Dry at record lows, Iron Ore near record lows, oil prices crashed, and the other engine of the world economy - USA USA USA - imploding).






Leaving the largest trade surplus ever...


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We look forward to seeing the variance between China exports to US and US imports from China...


Charts: Bloomberg

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ZerOhead's picture

To be reported on MSM... Record High Chinese Trade Surplus Signals Robust Global Recovery...

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

About time after the commies are choked full of debt. Fire up the money printers!!!!

Publicus's picture

Don't worry, Chinese Russian imports will make up for all of it.


The West is finished and the elites know it, hence, they are hellbent on starting World War 3.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

thats a lot of surplus to be converted to gold

keep plunging the paper price, morons of the West

game theory's picture

China has the gold *and* the paper dollars. And all they want is to convert their dollars to Treasuries. I think they should make some Mao suits and send them to all US federal and state employees.

cherry picker's picture

They sold so much stuff through the years it is all now for sale on Craigs List, a lot of it is still like new.

Most people have more junk accumulated than they need or will ever use.

Other than that, it appears someone is no longer buying, probably the 99%

It will effect the 1%

I think it is about time top management takes a haircut on compensation and spreads it out with the employees a little.  Then you get this clown Brian Williams making $13 million a year for reciting what is on a teleprompter, which many small businesses which have equipment, inventory and employees do not gross.

Something is not right with this picture


Oldwood's picture

Most of us are dumb, and some of them have figured it out.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

And more and more just don't have any money.  It's hard to buy junk, let alone food, wiothout money.

Arnold's picture

You round eyes ruin our middle class dream by not buying fruits of our hard labor.

fr0thing's picture

Professional propagandists like news casters, sports stars and celebrities are well compensated for that reason - they keep the masses brainwashed, distracted and complacent. 13 mil is a small price to pay.

disabledvet's picture

What is the USA actually selling in the USA tight now that is made in China?


Taint beef. Taint corn. Taint oil or natural gas.


All US production is for all intents AMD purposes "shut in" which ironically enough I think is leading to a US recession as "not even the United States can afford King Dollar."


I think China will follow Japan and massively inflate...but we'll see.


The demand for refined product has to be going through the roof right now....but for the fact its all priced in dollars "and they've all but disappeared right now."


If that renminbi suddenly gets "panicky" I think holy heck will break out in Europe because they are natural competitors with each other for global share.  In my economic history books that's called a "lose/lose"... but we'll see.

Oldwood's picture

But damn, those 4k big screen TVs sure look nice! Can't wait to get one of them shiny new credit cards...

WonderDawg's picture

All this talk about "taint" is making me horny.

yellencrash's picture

Wow. AMD is more powerful than I realized.

JustObserving's picture

Chinese imports fell by about $15 billion in December due to oil being cheaper by $60 a barrel

ZerOhead's picture

Makes sense... They have the planets largest oil import bill.

fockewulf190's picture

With the Baltic Dry Index almost at all time lows, we should be seeing pictures, and reading news reports, about fleets of empty freighters anchored in ports around the world.  Remember this picture from 2009?

I wonder how the Port of Singapore looks today.

q99x2's picture

Nobody seems to need more Chinese junk. Imagine that.

napper's picture

Who are China's 3 largest trading partners and importers? I'm afraid the US is found in both categories.

Wild Theories's picture

I'd say US, Eurozone, Japan just off the top of my head 


here's a little infographic reference after a quick google

OEC profile of China trade partners

can't find the datestamp of the data so not sure if it's 2013 or 2014 trade figures being used there, but the list of countries would have been the same over the past 5-6 years.

reginald's picture

Don't need to import iPhones


falak pema's picture

Now we get a true measure of the famous Asian pivot in real economic terms.

If China's balance of trade improves every month its ability to FINANCE future world growth increases and the YUAN de facto replaces the USD as the true currency of world transactions.

Five years down the road; aka in 2020; this will be sticking out of the world economy like the noses of US presidents on Mount Rushmore. And PAx Americana's USD cake will be trashed like the £ was in the 1930s.

What Putin is saying in Ukraine is a sign that he is part of this Euroasian balancing pendulum. He can read the trends.

Only the delusional Eurocrats and their de facto leaders in DC/WS don't want to understand the writing on the wall.

And they want to impose the past model on a Greek people down on its knees.






Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) falak pema Feb 8, 2015 8:17 AM

Greece is to the EU .... as Ferguson is to the US .... harbingers of things to come !

Handful of Dust's picture

Anyone have a clue who will get the next Nobel Peace Prize?

Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) Feb 8, 2015 7:50 AM

We won the war .... Ponzi was American .... we invented the Fed and fractional banking .... the electronic money, bitcoin, credit creation, world wide pants Ponzi .... fooled us all .... by how resistant it is .... this not your grandad's Weimar .... China and Russia are pieces in our Rubic's cube .... there's no turning back .... when the world self destructs .... Islam will be there .... to pick up the pieces .... have a nice day !

Peter Pan's picture

No one really knows what is happening. Chinese figures are always suspect, the Chinese could be eating away at excess stockpiles, oil price decline, etc. 

I would like to see confirmation of the figures with at least 3 months of the same numbers although the Baltic Index doesn't look too healthy.

Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) Peter Pan Feb 8, 2015 8:21 AM

It's not a regular, healthy surplus .... where you import, add value and export .... in a booming economy !

itstippy's picture

"No one really knows what is happening." - Agree 100%.

China's imports are down in a large part because they're measured in dollars, or yuan which is pegged to the dollar.  Commodity prices, especially oil, are way down; China could be importing the same tonnage but the dollar value is down so the metrics indicate a "slowing economy".

Similarly, Baltic Dry Index measures cost to ship per ton, not tonnage actually shipped.  Excess shipping capacity and cheap fuel reduce the cost to ship.  We need an index of actual tonnage shipped globally.

By using metrics based on monetary value of goods produced and consumed vs. actual physical goods we're playing the Bernanke/Krugman/Draghi/Abe neo-Keynsian financial wizard game.  They control monetary flows and valuations, and thus the metrics used to measure global financial health.  As a result, "No one knows what's really happening".

Add in the fact that entities like China and the U.S. BLS lie anyway in an attempt to control the "animal spirits" of the economy and we're faced with total garbage statistics to base our analysis on. 

sirnzee's picture

How much of this is due to the backlog on the west coast...both in and out?

BoyRobot777's picture

so much for russia and china friendship.


Exports unexpectedly declined by 3.3 percent to CNY 1.23 trillion (approximately USD 200 billion). Sales fell to: Russia (-42.1 percent), US (+4.9 percent).