As for the source of these imports, there have been a couple of interesting developments lately: earlier this month it emerged China had cut USA oil imports to zero in August amid the deepening trade row, but at the same time it has turned its attention further north, to Canadian crude.
Year-on-year, its overall exports grew faster than expected in September, at 14.5 per cent in dollar terms compared with 9.8 per cent in August, while growth of imports slowed to 14.3 per cent from 20 per cent, the customs administration said.
Chinese exports to the United States have at least temporarily defied forecasts they would weaken after being hit by punitive tariffs of up to 25 percent in a fight over American complaints about Beijing's technology policy.
China's trade surplus with the United States grew 10 percent in September from a record $31bn in August, according to China's customs administration - a 22 percent jump from the same month previous year. "We expect the dynamic to change once we get a bit deeper into this, but for now China is trying to outrun the next round of tariffs".
September marked the second straight record Chinese monthly trade surplus with the United States after August's $31 billion.
The trade feud has been fueled by USA accusations that China coerces foreign companies into handing over technology in return for access to the Chinese market, as well as by China's trade surplus with the U.S.
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President Trump added he could do a lot more if he wanted to, but said he would prefer Beijing come to the negotiating table.
Trump accused China of thinking Americans are "stupid" and boasted that his tariffs had already "had a big impact" on China's stumbling economy in a Thursday interview on Fox News.
They are also promoting settlements in rubles and yuan, bypassing the USA dollar and other Western currencies.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - in comments published in the Financial Times this week - warned China against engaging in competitive currency devaluations. But global trade would continue to face challenges as the U.S.
He said that in the discussions he had with the Chinese, they had made clear that they didn't see a further weakening of the Chinese yuan as being in their interests.
The IMF also lowered estimates for the United States and the global economy as a whole.