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China's major export slowed in 2008
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17:18, February 02, 2009

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An official with the Ministry of Commerce said on February 2 that a slower growth was the most obvious characteristics of exports of China's mechanical and electrical products and high-tech products in 2008. Mechanical and electrical products have been China's largest export commodities for 14 years and accounted for 57.8 percent of China's total exports in the first 11 months of 2008.

Zhang Ji, Director General of the Department of Mechanic, Electronic and Hi-Tech Industry, said that in the first 11 months of 2008, the growth rates for exports of China's mechanical and electrical products and high-tech products decreased further month by month.

Over the last 30 years the average annual growth rate for exports of China's mechanical and electrical products has been 27.2 percent. However, for the four consecutive months following August 2008, the monthly growth rates for both exports of mechanical and electrical products and exports of high-tech products stayed below 20 percent.

In November they decreased by 4.8 percent and 9.5 percent respectively, the negative growth for the first time in many years.

The growth rate of imports slowed even further. In the first 7 months of 2008, the growth rate for imports of mechanical and electrical products stayed above 15 percent. Since August, it remained below 10 percent for four consecutive months, and in November it decreased by 20.5 percent.

Exports to the US and the EU saw slow growth. Exports to the US as a percentage of total exports were down 2.2 percentage points from the same period in 2007, while fast-growing exports to emerging markets also started to lack momentum.

Exports from foreign-invested enterprises in China also fell gradually. During the period from January to October, their share of the total exports of these products declined by 2.1 percentage points compared with the same period of the previous year. Growth in exports of state-owned and private enterprises dropped slightly.

The high-speed growth trend of mechanical product exports slowed, while exports of electronic and communication products struggled to achieve growth. Auto exports have been declining at an average monthly rate of 10 percentage points since June.

During the period from January to October, exports of computers and computer components increased 12.4 percent, 9.1 percentage points lower than the same period in 2007.

In the first 10 months of 2008, processing trade was up 16.9 percent, 6.6 percentage points lower than the same period of the previous year.

Zhang Ji quoted customs data, noting that imports and exports of mechanical and electrical products exceeded 1.2 trillion USD in 2007, accounting for 55 percent of China's foreign trade.

From January to November 2008, the imports and exports of mechanical and electrical products and those of high-tech products reached 1.26 trillion USD and 704.63 billion USD, respectively. These figures increased 16.2 percent and 12.1 percent respectively, compared with the same period of the previous year, accounting for 53.1 percent and 29.6 percent of China's foreign trade.

Of which, exports of mechanical and electrical products totaled 761.3 billion USD, representing an increase of 20 percent. Imports totaled 500.5 billion USD, representing an increase of 10.9 percent. Exports of hi-tech products reached 385.67 billion USD, representing an increase of 16.2 percent and accounting for 29.3 percent of total foreign trade. The imports reached 319 billion USD, representing an increase of 7.5 percent and accounting for 30.1 percent of foreign trade.

By People’s Daily Online



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