Business / Economy

China foreign trade growth slows in April

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-05-10 13:07

BEIJING - China's foreign trade rose 2.7 percent year-on-year to $308.08 billion in April, with a surplus of $18.42 billion, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Thursday.

The growth rate represents a month-on-month slowdown and surplus has widened from the $53.5 billion logged in March, according the GAC data.

Exports and imports growth in April both saw a pull-back on a monthly basis.

China foreign trade growth slows in April

Exports amounted to $163.25 billion in April, up 4.9 percent year-on-year, while imports edged up 0.3 percent to reach $144.83 billion.

For the first four months of the year, the country's total foreign trade rose 6 percent from a year earlier to $1.17 trillion, with exports and imports up 6.9 percent and 5.1 percent to $593.24 billion and $573.94 billion, respectively.

China saw trade surplus of $19.3 billion during the January-April period, the GAC said.

The European Union remained China's largest trading partner in the first four months, but the bilateral trade growth has slowed considerably to just 0.3 percent year-on-year to $170.53 billion.

During the January-April period, China's trade with the United States -- its second-largest trade partner -- increased 9.2 percent year-on-year to $146.1 billion, according to the GAC.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China's third-largest trade partner, posted a 6.7 percent increase in bilateral trade, amounting to $117.65 billion in the first four months.

Bilateral trade between China and Japan, which is still reeling from last year's devastating tsunami and massive earthquake, dropped 1.5 percent from a year earlier to $107.18 billion.

But China's trade with Russia, which joined the World Trade Organization this year, and Brazil, a major exporter of iron ore and other raw materials, saw robust growth of 27.7 percent and 14.4 percent to $28.69 billion and $25.07 billion, respectively.

In breakdown of imports, China's iron ore imports rose 6.5 percent from a year ago to 240 million tons in the first four months, with an average imported price down 13.4 percent to $137.6 per ton.

Soybean import volumes added 22.3 percent to 18.15 million tons, with its average imported price dipping 7.6 percent year-on-year to $532.9 per ton.

Meanwhile, China imported 392,000 vehicles during the period, up 26.7 percent year-on-year.

Imports of machinery and electronics products shed 1.6 percent to $231.44 billion.

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