Shipments to China from around Asia have risen sharply in both value and volume, ending what economists at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. described as Asia’s two-year trade recession.
Higher commodity prices are lifting export values for countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. “Asian exports have staged a significant rebound,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Global Insight in Singapore.
Exports from the Philippines especially in bananas have also seen a large increase. “China has more than doubled their imports of bananas in the last few months so, we’re OK,” Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in an interview.
In Japan, exports are underpinning a modest economic recovery, with shipments to China, its biggest customer, jumping 28% in February, helping total exports rise the most in two years. South Korean exports rose the most in five years during the same month, thanks to accelerating shipments to China, which jumped by nearly a third from a year earlier.
The China-driven rebound in exports is part of the reason Asia’s expansion will probably exceed 5% in 2017 and 2018, compared with about 3.5% for the world, according to the International Monetary Fund.