China’s imports from the US fell by 11.3% in August, the latest official figures show, with key agricultural produce such as soybeans proving the biggest victims of the two countries’ ongoing trade tensions.
American exports to China totaled $8.77 billion during the month, according to the US Department of Commerce. This is an even larger month-on-month drop than the the one recorded in July, when exports to China fell 8.2% compared with the month before.
US imports from China, meanwhile, fell just 2.1% in August. As a result, the US trade deficit with China stretched by 0.8% on a monthly basis to $34.42 billion. For the year to date, this is a 9.1% uptick compared with the same period in 2017. As the Nikkei Asian Review notes, at the current rate the US’s trade deficit with China is set to reach a record high this year despite Trump’s tariffs.
Soybean shipments were particularly hard hit. One of the US’s most valuable export markets with China, exports of the grain fell 28.2% to $2.58 billion, wiping off peaks in demand earlier in the year before the tariffs came into effect.