China's 2017 iron ore imports hit record high

A worker watches as cargo trucks move through a shipping port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province. China reports its trade growth cooled in December 2017 in a sign of weaker global and domestic demand but total exports for 2017 rose 7.9 per

A worker watches as cargo trucks move through a shipping port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province. China reports its trade growth cooled in December 2017 in a sign of weaker global and domestic demand but total exports for 2017 rose 7.9 per

China's exports rose 10.8% in yuan terms in 2017 thanks to a boom in global trade, Bloomberg reported.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $54 billion for the month, the highest since January 2016.

Recently, acting Governor of the Far Eastern region Andrei Tarasenko told Sputnik, that the turnover between Russia's Primorsky Territory and China increased by 14 percent or $2.5 billion over the first nine months of 2017. Imports soared 15.9% to $1.84 trillion, the strongest increase in six years.

The U.S. was China's second-largest trade partner after the European Union, according to customs.

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Sinopec will take the lead in exploration of liquified natural gas (LNG) in Alaska, according to a deal signed during U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to China a year ago.

"I think the slowdown is really mild - mostly in line with seasonality", said Victor You, an analyst with CLSA in Hong Kong, who tracks China's iron ore, coal, copper and copper concentrate imports, as well as its exports of steel products and aluminium.

"The next stage is an open economy that focuses on a balance of trade", he said.

Chinese officials have threatened retaliation for any USA penalties in closed-door meetings with American officials and companies.

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"We have...long expected China's domestic demand and imports to slow in 2018 on gradually tighter monetary and financial policies and slower real estate activity momentum", Louis Kuijs, an economist with research firm Oxford Economics, said in a note. USA figures put the 2015 deficit with China at $367 billion.

Huang Songping, a commerce ministry spokesman, said the numbers reflect the "mild recovery of the world economy previous year".

China's trade figures don't match US figures due to different calculation methods. Imports missed analysts' forecast of 13.0 percent growth and were a sharp decrease from the 17.7 percent rise in the previous month.

He estimated that imports declined by the biggest margin in nearly two years in volume terms in December as purchases of industrial commodities plummeted.

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