Washington: US imports from China fell 12.5 per cent in the year through August, the Census Bureau said Friday, while purchases from Mexico — the second-biggest supplier of goods to America — posted the biggest increase.

The data showed how the intensifying trade war between the world’s two biggest economies is providing openings for other exporters. China remains the chief source of US imports, but its lead over No. 2-ranked Mexico is closing.

Imports from China declined $43.25 billion from the same period of 2018, while purchases from Mexico rose by 5.5 per cent, or $12.4 billion. Other countries posting a big increase included Vietnam, with a jump of 34 per cent or $10.9 billion — enough to move it from 12th to 7th on the list of America’s suppliers. The top six rankings were unchanged.