Chinese exports fall by 2.2 percent

December 10th, 2008 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 10 (Xinhua) China’s exports were worth $115 billion in November, down 2.2 percent year-on-year in the first monthly decline since June 2001, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Wednesday.November’s exports also fell 10.4 percent on a month-on-month basis. In October, exports were up 19.2 percent on a year-on-year basis.

Sharp declines were recorded on the import front last month. Imports were worth $75 billion, down 17.9 percent year-on-year and down 19.5 percent month-on-month.

“It means the financial crisis is not only weakening the economies of the United States and European Union but also weighing on China’s economy,” said Zhuang Jian, senior economist with the Asian Development Bank’s China Resident Mission.

November’s total trade volume stood at $189.89 billion, down nine percent year-on-year, GAC said.

The monthly trade surplus hit a record high for this year at $40 billion, up 52 percent from last November, when it was $26.28 billion. The trade surplus was $35.24 billion in October and $29.3 billion in September.

Zhuang attributed the record-high trade surplus to a drop in exports and an even sharper decrease in imports, which widened the trade gap.

“When exports fall due to weak external demand, imports will drop more drastically because most of the country’s export industry is processing supplied or imported materials,” he said.

Zhuang expected the grim situation to persist in December and into the first half of 2009.

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