China’s Trade Surplus Declines by 2.6 Percent

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Oct. 14 – According to China’s General Administration of Customs, trade surplus for the first nine months of the year declined by 2.6 percent to US$180.9 billion compared to last year’s figure.

In September, import restrictions made to accommodate the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics boosted trade surplus by 23.1 percent to US$29.3 billion, a monthly all-time high. Exports increased by 21.5 percent to US$136.4 billion. Import growth in September slowed to 21.3 percent from August’s 23.1 percent and July’s 33.7 percent.

The European Union maintained its position as China’s top trading partner with bilateral trade increasing by 25.9 percent to US$322.5 billion. Following the EU, the United States was at second place with trade worth US$251.5 billion, although growth decreased by 1.8 percent.

The first nine months saw China’s trade value rise by 25.2 percent to US$1.9 trillion.

“The trade activities have been shrinking due to weaker demand when the major economies are struggling in the financial crisis. They import less and import lower-priced products,” Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co., told Shanghai Daily.

Li added, But it was a different story for China’s slower import growth in August and September as hosting the Olympics led to factories halting their production temporarily and thus reducing their need to import raw materials.