For many years, Tomato News has regularly published statistical data regarding the price (and sometimes volume) of Chinese tomato products, which it received at the end of each month for the previous month.
As of 4 July 2018, China still had not published the trade statistics for the months of April and May 2018. In recent weeks, Tomato News has been corresponding closely with its information sources. The explanation provided at the end of May by the China Customs Statistics Information Centre (CCSIC – the body officially accredited by the Chinese government to disseminate statistical data abroad) was that this delay has been caused by technical errors in the system.
At the time of writing, no date has been confirmed for publication of this information. However, a number of comments have come our way in recent weeks, which we have summarized in the following paragraphs.
On 18 June, CCSIC mentioned that "China hit back at US President Donald Trump on 16 June after he slapped punitive tariffs on Chinese goods, announcing that it would place its own additional 25% tariffs on 659 US imports worth a total of USD 50 billion." Two waves of additional taxation are expected, the first of which is due to come into effect on 6 July for products like soybean, corn, wheat, rice, beef, etc. Tomato products do not feature on either of these two lists, which reportedly represent a comprehensive list of all products concerned.
“Beijing said that all the previous agreements reached through talks will become invalid. China doesn't want to engage in a trade war, but in the face of the short-sighted acts from the US side […] China is forced to take strong and forceful measures to hit back.”
“As it seems to be a long lasting trade war between China and the USA, the CCSIC is not sure China will resume the release of the monthly import & export data on detailed commodities (HS codes in 8-digits) of April which should normally have been released on 23 May, and the data for the months after.”
“Although we got an informal notice last week that the data of April is to be released in July, this is a Chinese governmental action and the CCSIC is really not sure whether this notice is true or not.”
On 20 June, the CCSIC informed Tomato News that “the dispute worsened […] after Donald Trump announced that Washington would consider slapping tariffs on a further USD 200 billion of Chinese products, and Beijing threatened to retaliate with forceful “qualitative and quantitative” countermeasures.”
On 23 June, the CCSIC concluded “In such a tit-for-tat situation, we are worried that Beijing could hold the import & export data longer than expected.”
We will continue to update you with any information that we receive and can assure you that once we receive the data, it will be our priority to publish it in Tomato News as soon as possible.
Source: GTA/GTIS, CCS (China Customs Statistics) Information Center