China's November trade surplus tops $23B

Updated: 2006-12-07 20:14

BEIJING -- China's trade surplus reached its second-highest monthly level on record in November, pushing the total surplus so far this year to $157 billion, according to Customs figures reported Thursday by a state news agency.

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The November surplus of $23.4 billion was just behind October's all-time high of $23.8 billion, as exports surged by 27.5 percent, outpacing import growth of 20.5 percent, the Xinhua News Agency said.

The surge in China's surplus has added to pressure by the United States and other trading partners for Beijing to open its markets wider.

Economists had forecast a surge in China's trade surplus due to government efforts to rein in an economic boom. They said investment controls imposed on auto manufacturing, textiles and other industries would slow imports of equipment and raw materials, while foreign demand for China goods continued to boost exports.

China's six biggest monthly trade surpluses on record all have occurred this year.

The total trade surplus for the first 11 months of the year was up $66 billion over the same period last year, according to Xinhua. It said total trade so far this year totaled $1.6 trillion, up 24.3 percent from the first 11 months of 2005.

The Commerce Ministry forecast last month that China's annual trade surplus would top $150 billion this year. But the total could exceed $180 billion if the December figure is in line with previous months.

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