China’s September trade surplus drops

October 13th, 2011 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 13 (IANS) China’s trade surplus in September fell 12.4 percent year-on-year to reach $14.51 billion dollars due to sluggish global demand and rising costs in domestic markets, authorities said Thursday.

September exports rose 17.1 percent year-on-year to reach $169.67 billion. Imports surged 20.9 percent to $155.16 billion, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) announced Thursday.

From January to September, exports and imports amounted to $2.68 trillion, representing a 24.6-percent year-on-year increase. The amount has already exceeded that of the full year of 2008, reported Xinhua.

The first nine months of this year saw the trade surplus shrink by 10.6 percent to $107.1 billion.

China’s foreign trade structure continued to improve in the first three quarters, with general trade expanding and processing trade dwindling, said Lu Peijun, the GAC’s deputy head.

In the first nine months, general trade accounted for 52.9 percent of the country’s total trade, with an increase of 31.7 percent to $1.42 trillion. Processing trade took up 35.9 percent of the total, growing 14.8 percent to $961.6 billion.

The general trade growth rate was 7.1 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year, while processing trade was 3.1 percentage points lower, according to the GAC.

China’s dependence on traditional markets, including the European Union (EU), the US and Japan, has been somewhat alleviated, as trade with emerging countries has grown quickly, said Lu.

In the first nine months, exports to the EU, the US and Japan accounted for 43.7 percent of the country’s total, two percentage points lower compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) surpassed Japan to become China’s third-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade totalling $267 billion, up 26.4 percent.

GAC data showed that export prices of labour-intensive products rose significantly and exports of mechanical and electronic products slowed down due to diminishing demand from the European Union and the US.

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