Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is probably right to argue that China’s September exports to the US rose sharply in anticipation of tariffs. Otherwise, China’s export performance as of September is steady, and a bit disappointing in the case of non-Japan Asia.

China exports yoy

The picture is perhaps clearer from the absolute numbers. China’s main export market is Asia, and that hasn’t changed much.

China exports by region

Drilling down, we see that China’s exports to its largest non-Japan Asia trading partners (South Korea and Taiwan) are sluggish.

China exports to non-Japan Asia

Exports are up sharply to Vietnam, Thailand, India and especially Indonesia, but from a relatively low base.