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Processing trade, exchange rates and China's bilateral trade balances

  • Xing, Yuqing

This paper analyzes the role of processing trade in China's bilateral trade balances and the impact of the yuan's appreciation on China's processing trade. The analysis is based on panel data covering bilateral processing trade between China and its partners from 1993 to 2008. The empirical results show that: (1) processing trade accounted for 100% of China's annual trade surplus during the period; (2) China's processing trade showed a significant regional bias—77% of processing imports originated from East Asia while only 29% of processing exports was destined to the region in 2008; and (3) a real appreciation of the yuan would negatively affect both processing imports and exports—specifically, a 10% real appreciation of the yuan would reduce not only China's processing exports by 9.1% but also its processing imports by 5.0%. Based on these empirical findings we conclude that the combined effect of the yuan's appreciation on the balance of processing trade and thus China's overall trade balance will be limited.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Asian Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 540-547

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Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:23:y:2012:i:5:p:540-547
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