Russian-Chinese trade up 20.8% in 2017, to $84.07 bln

Chinese exports to Russian Federation grew by 14.8%, to $42.88 billion.

The sharp December imports slowdown, however, is raising concerns that the world's second-biggest economy faces domestic-demand pressure as authorities turn off cheap credit and restrict speculative financing.

Yuan-denominated imports rose 18.7 percent past year, which produced a trade surplus of 2.87 trillion yuan.

Imports grew at an even slower pace of 4.5 percent year-on-year last month, the weakest since they rose 3.1 percent in December 2016, and way below forecasts of 13.0 percent growth.

China's exports rose 10.8% in yuan terms in 2017 thanks to a boom in global trade, Bloomberg reported.

China's trade surplus soared to the highest level in almost two years in December, fueled by strength in exports and a surprise deceleration in imports.

The government is planning to announce GDP data for 2017 next week.

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Iron ore imports for the year hit a record high of 1.075 billion tonnes.

In regard to North Korea, China said exports and imports to and from North Korea fell by 23.4% and 81.6% respectively in the year to December.

Trade surplus with the United States soared 13 percent year on year to 1.87 trillion yuan (about 288 billion US dollars), according to Huang Songping, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs.

On the monetary policy front, most analysts expect subdued inflation expectations to keep the People's Bank of China from tightening too hard.

"The next stage is an open economy that focuses on a balance of trade", he said.

China's 2017 surplus with the United States was $275.81 billion, topping the previous record in 2015 of $260.8 billion. Russian Federation imported Chinese goods worth $4.06 billion and exported goods worth $4.07 billion to China in the reported period.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly signaled tougher action on what he calls unfair practices that have lead to a massive trade deficit with China.

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