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Foreign trade via Shanghai port tops US$280b
Updated: 2005-01-10 15:55

China's largest foreign trade port Shanghai handled US$161.3 billion of imports and US$121.3 billion of exports in 2004, up by 44 percent and 37 percent respectively over the 2003 figures.

Imports and exports by foreign-invested companies via the Shanghai port added up to US$176.6 billion, making up 62.5percent of the total trade volume the port handled in 2004, according to statistics released by the Shanghai Customs on Monday.

Private companies, on the other hand, posted the fastest growth with US$23.7 billion of imports and exports via Shanghai port, a two-fold increase over the previous year.

China's macro-control of its national economy has substantiallyslowed down the imports of steel, iron and other raw material via the Shanghai port since the second quarter of 2004, the statisticsshow.

Imports of raw cotton and iron ore via Shanghai increased slightly from the 2003 volume to 530,000 tons and 20.18 million tons respectively in 2004, and that of steel and soybean slid to 4.1 million tons and 460,000 tons respectively.

But the average import prices of most commodities rose sharply.Prices of refined oil, steel, copper and iron ore increased by 27 percent, 35 percent, 54 percent and 61 percent respectively, whilethat of cotton and soybean rose by 25 percent and 31 percent.

Price hikes were also reported in many commodities exported from Shanghai -- 19 percent for integrated circuits and micro-electronic components, 26 percent for motorbikes and 32 percent for color TVs.

Last year, US$87.4 billion of machinery and electronic products and US$45.4 billion of hi-tech products were exported via Shanghai, up 58 percent and 72 percent respectively over the previous year.

Exports of traditional commodities, such as garments, textiles,furniture, shoes and suitcases, also reported double-digit rises, the customs statistics say.

Two-way trade between the Shanghai port and China's top three trade partners of the European Union, Japan and the United States grew at 28 percent and made up 55 percent of all the imports and exports the port handled in 2004.

Shanghai port's trade with the European Union in 2004 topped US$57 billion and that with Japan and the United States addedup to US$50.8 billion and US$49 billion respectively.

Japan became the No 1 exporter with US$25.5 billion ofexports to Shanghai and the United States was Shanghai's largest destination market that reported US$36.2 billion of imports from the eastern China port.

China's foreign trade in the first 11 months of 2004 exceeded US$1 trillion, including US$167 billion of trade with North America, US$190 billion with Europe and more than US$600 billion with Asian partners.

Commerce Minister Bo Xilai has predicted the country's foreign trade for 2004 will reach US$1.1 trillion, up some 30 percent from the previous year.

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