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China Exports Are Booming and Trade Surplus Is Widening—Why Is the Yuan So Weak?

China’s August exports were up 9.5% from a year earlier, beating expectations, while import numbers declined. That prompts a nagging question in currency markets: With a widening trade surplus, why isn’t the Chinese yuan rising more?

It’s true that at 6.83 to the dollar the currency is at its strongest level in over a year, but that mostly reflects a weaker greenback, not a stronger yuan. The ICE Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar’s value against a basket of currencies, is down more steeply this year and this quarter than…

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