China’s trade surplus hits monthly record

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China’s trade surplus jumped to an all-time monthly high in October according to figures released today by the General Administration of Customs.

China’s trade surplus in October rose 13.5 percent over the same month last year to US$27.05 billion. The surplus has seen a huge 59 percent increase over the first 10 months of the year to US$212.4 billion despite official efforts to close the growing gap.

Beijing has been under pressure to reduce trade barriers and devalue its currency by its trading partners in the EU and United States. And despite promises to reign in export growth, foreign demand for cheap Chinese goods has lead to a trade surplus that has already surpassed the full-year record of US$177.5 billion set in 2006.

Foreign demand for Chinese products has not been adversely affected by recalls and bans of tainted products linked to mainland manufacturers. China’s trade surplus with the United States rose 12 percent to US$15.7 billion, while the surplus with the EU, China’s biggest trading partner, rose nearly 50 percent to US$13.9 billion, the customs agency reported.

According to the AP, China’s total exports grew 26.5 percent to US$985.84 billion, while total imports rose 19.8 percent to US$773.48 billion for the first ten months of the year. For a minimalist view, here’s China Daily’s heavily edited Xinhua version.