China Lags U.S. Trade Deal Target With Deadline Just Weeks Away

China is far away from meeting its U.S. trade-deal commitments, with the latest data showing it’s imported just over half of the American goods it promised to buy in the first year of the phase-one agreement.

In the first 11 months of the year, China purchased about 50.5% of the total 2020 target of $172 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations based on figures from the nation’s Customs Administration. The trade pact was signed between the two countries on Jan. 15.

The outlook for the trade deal remains uncertain as a new U.S. administration under Joe Biden prepares to take office soon. Trump administration officials continue to argue that the phase-one deal helped to rebalance trade with China even though recent data shows the U.S.’s trade deficit has widened.

Here are key details of China’s progress in meeting the phase-one agreement:

  • As of the end of November, China purchased 54.1% of targeted manufactured products, 52.9% of agricultural goods and 31.1% of energy products
  • Integrated circuits aggregate imports stood at $13 billion in January-November compared with $10.2 billion in 2017
  • Soybean aggregate imports reached $8.1 billion in January-November compared with $13.9 billion in 2017

Read more: China’s U.S Soybean Imports More Than Double Y/y in November

Nov.Oct.Sept.Aug.July
Unit: Million U.S. Dollar20202020202020202020
Total Progress (%) *50.49%43.88%38.33%32.59%28.19%
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Manufactured products$6,010.49$5,942.28$6,277.12$5,414.95$5,784.31
1. Industrial Machinery$1,424.00$1,547.41$1,675.35$1,410.73$1,398.04
2. Electrical equipment and machinery$542.68$498.98$620.11$642.76$688.78
3. Pharmaceutical products$441.95$359.64$527.89$410.58$530.37
4. Aircraft$114.77$505.58$218.97$151.82$146.14
5. Vehicles$1,028.67$698.89$917.93$580.25$648.24
6. Optical and medical instruments$476.89$362.85$424.75$433.26$403.68
7. Iron and steel$71.18$37.35$58.09$59.26$70.85
8. Other manufactured goods$1,910.35$1,931.57$1,834.04$1,726.28$1,898.20
Electronic integrated circuits$1,269.35$1,305.31$1,085.64$1,075.60$1,224.15
YTD *$59,700.73$53,690.24$47,747.96$41,470.84$36,055.88
Progress (%) *54.09%48.65%43.26%37.58%32.67%
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Agricultural products$3,794.29$2,641.19$1,871.39$1,167.32$1,180.07
9. Oilseed (Soybean)$2,505.51$1,361.44$457.74$63.18$16.09
10. Meat$247.78$225.97$260.86$226.04$320.12
Pork$74.80$66.08$115.40$96.92$160.84
11. Cereals$312.24$327.19$396.02$303.00$207.42
12. Cotton$129.42$202.66$225.10$154.87$148.36
13. Other agricultural commodities$515.18$447.66$456.40$386.37$435.89
14. Seafood$84.17$76.27$75.25$33.85$52.19
YTD *$19,369.15$15,574.86$12,933.67$11,062.28$9,894.96
Progress (%) *52.94%42.57%35.35%30.24%27.05%
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Energy products$1,584.15$957.03$1,721.10$986.48$1,292.40
15. Liquefied natural gas$172.28$89.35$65.92$51.58$42.75
16. Crude Oil$1,167.71$551.50$1,349.93$681.43$1,036.80
17. Refined products$234.18$316.18$305.25$246.45$212.85
18. Coal$9.97$0.00n/a$7.03n/a
YTD *$7,802.54$6,218.39$5,261.37$3,540.27$2,553.78
Progress (%) *31.10%24.79%20.97%14.11%10.18%

Note 1: Data shown is based on latest revised data from source. Total imports of manufactured goods for previous months has been revised to include inorganic chemicals and precious metals, rare-earth metals and radioactive elements or of isotopes due to a changed definition of what goods are included.

Note 2: Monthly services data are not available from China authorities.

Note 3: * The trade deal says China’s imports of manufactured, agricultural and energy goods in 2020 are no less than $32.9 billion, $12.5 billion and $18.5 billion on top of 2017’s levels, making the year’s targets at $110.4 billion, $36.6 billion and $25.1 billion. China’s year-to-date imports are compared to those targets to calculate the progress towards fulfilling the deal.

Note 4: The statistics bureau didn’t release single-month data for January and February but combined those month’s totals to smooth out the effects of the of lunar new year holiday.

Source: China General Administration of Customs

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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