A woman works at a textile plant in Nantong, Jiangsu province in this file photo. China's trade surplus fell to $123.72 billion in the first seven months of this year, down 9.6 percent year on year, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday. [Asianewsphoto]
China's trade surplus fell to $123.72 billion in the first seven months, down $13.1 billion, or 9.6 percent year on year, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday.
Analysts said the fall was partly a result of China's policies to tame surplus, but was also because of the rising prices of energy.
The European Union (EU) continued to be the country's biggest trading partner, with two-way trade totaling $243.14 billion, up 27.9 percent from January to July.
Exports to the EU rose 27.1 percent to $165.04 billion, while imports grew 29.8 percent to $78.1 billion, leaving a trade surplus of $86.94 billion, up 24.9 percent year on year. The surplus growth, however, had decreased 29 percentage points.
Exports to the United States, the country's second biggest trade partner, grew 9.9 percent to $140.39 billion with a trade surplus of $91.67 billion, up 3.8 percent year on year. The surplus growth, however, also declined by 15 percentage points.
Japan remained China's No. 3 trade partner with bilateral trade totaling $154.93 billion, up 19.2 percent.
January-July trade exports to Japan reached $65.48 billion, up 15.9 percent, while imports totaled $89.45 billion, up 21.6 percent. This created a trade deficit of $23.98 billion, an increase of $7 billion over the same period of last year.
The administration said the average prices of primary products imports had soared. The country's imports grew drastically by 70.6 percent to $221.65 billion in the first seven months, 32.6 percent of the total imports in the same period.
China imported 24.94 million tons of coal during the seven months with its average price jumping 51.9 percent to $70 per tonnage. Imported soy bean grew to 20.73 million tons with its average prices up 78 percent to $591.70 per ton.