Official: China's trade surplus to drop in 2010

17:04, November 16, 2010      

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Given the slowdown of exports and expansion of import, China's trade surplus will generally decline in 2010, said Yao Jian, spokesperson of Ministry of Commerce of China, today in Beijing.

China's trade surplus reached 27 billion U.S. dollars in October, 10.3 billion U.S. dollars more than in September and a 14 percent year on year rise. Yao explained that was caused by the decline of both exports and imports. But the imports in October plunged by 15 percent from September, much more drastically than the 6 percent decrease in exports in the same period. A Significant import drop of 12.4 billion U.S. dollar was seen in commodities in October from September.

However, a different picture is expected for the surplus of the whole year. Yao asserts that China would have a smaller trade surplus in 2010. In fact, China's trade surplus has dropped by 6.7 percent year on year in the first 10 months of the year.

Specifically, the current export slowdown reflects the sluggish demand in overseas markets, the European Union and the United States in particular, which are the top two trading partners of China. The import growth has been faster than the export growth over the first 10 months of the year.

In addition, the imports for processed trade are down drastically. About 56 percent of imports are made by export-oriented foreign companies in China. As they are more sensitive to market changes, the decrease of their imports indicates a less rosy export prospect for China.

In October, China's exports grew by 23 percent year on year, which was 2.2 percentage points lower than the growth in September. That marks the fifth consecutive month of slowdowns in exports.

In contrast, imports are accelerating. The imports in October rose by 25 percent year on year, which shows not only a faster growth than exports, but also an upward momentum.

In addition, although there is a sharp decline of the volume of commodity imports, the higher prices of commodity prices imply a higher value of imports. For example, according to customs data, China had to pay more for imported crude oil and iron ore on the international market.

There is deep concern on the market that the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on Nov. 3 to inject 600 billion U.S. dollar into the purchase of treasury bonds will push commodity prices even higher on the international market.

By Li Jia, People's Daily Online


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