China's 2010 H1 trade grows, surplus narrows

11:33, July 11, 2010      

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China's trade surplus fell by 42.5 percent in the first six months this year from a year earlier to 55.3 billion U.S. dollars, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Saturday.

In the first half of 2010, exports rose 35.2 percent to 705.09 billion dollars while imports were up 52.7 percent to 649.79 billion dollars, the GAC said in a statement posted on its official website.

China's foreign trade in the first half totaled 1.35 trillion dollars, a year-on-year increase of 43.1 percent, after the country saw its June exports and total trade both reach record highs, the GAC said.

In June, exports were up 43.9 percent to 137.4 billion dollars while imports were 117.37 billion dollars, up 34.1 percent year on year, resulting in a total trade value of 254.77 billion dollars, the GAC said.

The June exports increased 4.3 percent from May and the imports were 4.6 percent higher from the last month, according to the statement.

However, the pace of growth in exports and imports were both slower than in May when exports surged 48.5 percent and imports jumped 48.3 percent from a year earlier.

Bi Jiyao, a senior researcher with the research institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, said the strong figures partly stemmed from the low comparison base last year.

In the first half of 2009, China posted a 23.5-percent decline in total trade, with exports and imports down 21.8 percent and 25.4 percent respectively, according to the GAC data.

More importantly, the strong performance of China's trade was attributable to the recovery of the world economy and China's deepening economic ties with other emerging markets, said Bi.

Trade between China and the European Union rose 37.2 percent in the first half of this year to 219.42 billion dollars from the previous year, while trade with the United States grew by 30.2 percent to 171.99 billion dollars, the GAC said.

China's trade with Japan also saw rapid growth, hitting 136.55 billion dollars, up 37 percent from a year earlier, and Japan became China's third largest trade partner as a result, the GAC data showed.

China also saw booming trade with many emerging markets in the first six months this year.

Trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) climbed by 54.7 percent to 136.49 billion dollars, and China-Brazil trade jumped 60.3 percent to 26.39 billion dollars, said the GAC statement.

Besides sound growth, China's trade pattern was also becoming more balanced with the gap between imports and exports narrowing, Bi said.

In the first half this year, China's trade surplus shrank by 42.5 percent from the same period last year, after it recorded a surplus of 196.1 billion dollars in 2009, down 34.2 percent from 2008.

Bi Jiyao said China's export growth would not be able to maintain such a high rate of growth as the comparison base was very low for the first half in 2009 when the world economy was struggling amid the financial crisis.

Echoing Bi, Zhang Xiaoji, a senior researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, anticipated China's trade surplus this year would be reduced by 20 billion dollars from the 2009 level.

From January to June this year, China recorded a trade deficit of 26.33 billion dollars with Japan, as imports from Japan rose 46.3 percent, compared with a 25.2-percent exports growth, and the deficit grew by 130 percent from the same period last year, the GAC said.

China's trade deficit with Brazil stood at 5.75 billion dollars, and its deficit with the ASEAN countries widened to 7.29 billion dollars, compared with 600 million dollars registered for the whole year of 2009.

China's imports were growing faster than exports, indicating that China's stable economic development was helping the world economy to recover while many countries were resorting to exports growth as a major tool to achieve economic recovery, Zhang Xiaoji said.



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