Sales at China's most famous trade fair have dropped 20 percent amid the global financial crisis, organizers said yesterday.
Transactions at the 105th China Import and Export Fair, or Canton Fair, totaled $13.03 billion, a 20.8-percent drop from the same phase of the 104th session last October, Mu Xinhai, deputy secretary-general of the fair, said.
Figures from the fair have long served as a gauge of China's foreign trade.
A total of 82,520 foreign buyers were present during the fair's first phase from last Wednesday to Sunday.
This was a 5.4-percent drop on the comparable period of the 104th session.
According to Mu, there was a decrease in the number of trade deals with the European Union (EU), Japan, Australia and the United States - China's four key export partners.
This included a 38.6-percent decrease with the EU, 36.5 percent with Japan, 11.2 percent with Australia and 4.9 percent with the US.
But deals increased with some growing economies such as Argentina, India and ASEAN countries.
This included a 16.6-percent increase with Argentina, 9.7 percent with India and 4.5 percent with ASEAN countries.
Deals with Russia, Brazil and the Middle East dropped by 42.6 percent, 35.1 percent and 7.3 percent respectively.
"The business transactions to some extent speak for the fact that the negative influence of the global financial crisis is still haunting and its influence on China's foreign trade will not vanish in the near future," Mu said.
"The orders from the overseas buyers were more short-term and on a smaller scale than in any previous sessions."