As can be seen from the chart below, the appreciation of the Yuan against the Dollar that has steadily occurred over the roughly three months from mid-January to the present has reversed the depreciation in the Yuan that took place over the nearly six months from mid-July to mid-January. This highlights why the recent movement in the exchange rate is seen to be unusually pronounced.
China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has announced that it will no longer be necessary for companies to receive NDRC approval for overseas investments of under $1 billion. The reform is expected to go into effect on May 8th and represents a large increase from the current threshold of $300 million for resource-related investments and $100 million for other investments. There is speculation that the reform will make it easier for Chinese companies to compete for overseas acquisitions in the international market.
Japan has made a deal with Australia to lower tariffs on beef imports, which could give Australian exporters of beef an advantage over U.S. exporters in the Japanese market. However, the agreement is not expected to go into effect until 2015, and the tariffs will be reduced over a period of 15-18 years.
South Korea's custom's agency will be simplifying the customs clearing process for imported goods bought online from foreign websites that are below a minimum value. For many countries the minimum will be $100, but for US websites, the minimum will be $200. This could make goods for sale on US websites more appealing to Korean consumers as they experience shorter wait times for goods to clear customs. This could ultimately help boost US exports to the country.