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China trade slows in Nov, cutting surplus to US$19.6b

(Shanghai Daily)

17:02, December 10, 2012

China's trade growth moderated in November from the strong rebound in the previous two months, the General Administration of Customs said today.

But it was still in a process of stabilization, analysts said.

Exports expanded 2.9 percent from a year earlier to US$179.4 billion last month, easing from a surge of 11.6 percent in October.

Imports settled at US$159.8 billion, the same as a year ago and compared with a 2.4 percent rise in October.

The country's trade surplus was US$19.6 billion in November, shrinking from October's US$32 billion and September's US$27.6 billion.

"The setback was expected as the peak time for delivering Christmas orders has finished," said Xue Jun, an analyst at CITIC Securities Co. "The moderating pace does not mean the end of stabilization in China's trade."

Xue expected overseas shipments to strengthen moderately in the near future with recovering demands in Europe and the United States, and imports may also pick up again in response to people's growing confidence in the domestic economy.

Lian Ping, chief economist at the Bank of Communications, said there are still many uncertainties in the Chinese trade, but the overall situation has improved dramatically from the first half of this year.

In the first 11 months, China's trade expanded 5.8 percent year on year to US$3.5 trillion, making it unlikely to realize this year's growth target 10 percent.

Trade with the European Union fell 4.1 percent on an annual basis in the first 11 months. But the EU remained China's largest trading partner with a trade volume of US$495.7 billion.

Shipments with the US jumped 8.2 percent during the period to US$438.6 billion, the Customs data showed.

Shanghai's trade rose 0.2 percent to US$399.7 billion in the first 11 months, placing the city third in trade value after Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces.

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