Coronavirus: Chinese trade coming back to life after disastrous Jan-Feb

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China made significant progress in kick starting its imports and exports in the last week/days. Data from Cargometric showed that seaborne imports to China surpassed levels before the Chinese New year.

Export cargo has rebounded more slowly, for the obvious reason that factories in China are still ramping up. The Port of Los Angeles in the US is still forecasting a 25% year on year decline in container volumes in March.

Data from factories suggests that production in China could be back to normal levels at the end of March, if coronavirus cases continue to decline. Bottlenecks in shipping capacity could be the main drag on export growth in April as exporters try to ship delayed orders.

Attention is now shifting to the impact of the virus expansion in Europe and the US on demand for Chinese goods.  Euler Hermes is predicting that China will lose 108 billion USD in exports of goods due to the coronavirus in 2020 out of a total predicted impact of 320 billion USD worldwide. A comparable impact to the US - China trade war.

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