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Tough times for exporters

Updated: 2013-10-16 07:05
By Yao Jing and Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou ( China Daily)

Shipments dropping as manufacturing is losing advantage

Tough times for exporters

Demonstrating a Midea washing machine at the 114th Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Tuesday. Zou Zhongpin / China Daily

Tough times for exporters

Although China's foreign trade showed signs of a recovery during the first three quarters of the year, and emerging markets offer fresh opportunities, shipments to major partners are dropping and the nation is losing its manufacturing advantage.

The United States market is looking resilient, but that's not enough to offset weakness in Europe, said exhibitors at the 114th Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, which opened on Tuesday.

The twice-yearly event, also known as the Canton Fair, is seen as a barometer of China's foreign trade.

"We are confronting a severe foreign trade situation as exports to Europe, which used to be our major market, slumped this year," said Liao Dan, general manager of the international business department at Foshan Dongpeng Ceramic Co Ltd.

Exports account for 20 percent of Foshan's turnover. "We have witnessed growth in the US recently. Still, the slump in Europe has frustrated our international expansion," said Liao.

There are two problems for the company in Europe - a weak economy and anti-dumping duties on ceramic products imposed by the European Union, according to Liao. The duties, imposed in mid-May, run for five years and range from 13.1 percent to 36.1 percent.

China's foreign trade rose 7.7 percent in the first nine months to 19.07 trillion yuan ($3.06 trillion), but the outlook is uncertain in at least some markets.

Trade with the EU fell 0.8 percent to $408.57 billion, while that with the US was up 6.7 percent to $379.1 billion, Chinese customs statistics show.

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