– China Overtakes US As World’s Largest Trader (Except With Japan) (ZeroHedge, Jan 10, 2014):
Overnight China reported disappointing export data, missing expectations of +5%. The gvoernment explained this on the basis that they were losing their competitive edge since the Yuan has strengthened to 20 year highs but perhaps most telling is that fact that, as the FT reports, China became the world’s biggest trader in goods for the first time last year – overtaking the US for all of 2013. We suspect the powers that be are starting to get nervous as this comes soon after China’s surge to become the world’s largest oil importer marking a notable shift in the world’s most powerful nations – as trade with the rest of Asia and increasing flows with the Middle East represent a shift in power away from the US.
There is one exception.. of course – net imports with Japan continues its 3 year trend lower as tensions between the two nations sour further.