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Foreign trade hits US$1.148 trillion
By Jiang Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-11 06:28

China's combined imports and exports hit US$1.148 trillion in the first 10 months of this year, approaching last year's total, according to the latest statistics published yesterday on China's General Administration of Customs' website.

This figure reflects a year-on-year increase of 24 per cent, where last years figure reached US$1.155 trillion.

Exports jumped 31.1 per cent year-on-year to US$614.5 billion while imports grew 16.7 per cent on a yearly basis to US$534.1 billion. The trade surplus hit US$80.4 billion.

The Department of Foreign Trade of China's Ministry of Commerce predicted that the country's trade surplus is likely to grow from US$90 billion to US$100 billion this year nearly tripling last year's US$32 billion.

The ballooning figure has roused concerns among China's trade partners .

Chen Xingdong, Beijing-based chief China economist at BNP Paribas Peregrine Securities Ltd, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying China's trade surplus would remain a sticking point between China and the United States.

However, the gap between imports and exports was likely to narrow next year, said Li Yushi, a trade expert with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation, a commerce ministry think-tank.

He explained that China's demand for imports, particularly of raw material, was expected to recover as investment in some construction and manufacturing industries climbed. This investment previously declined as the central government attempted to cool its overheating economy.

"Raw material imports account for a large proportion of China's total imports," he said.

Bilateral trade in October alone stood at US$124.2 billion, reflecting a yearly increase of 26.8 per cent.

It is the eighth month in succession that monthly trade exceeded US$100 billion.

Exports reached US$68.1 billion last month, up 29.7 per cent year-on-year, while imports reached US$56.1 billion, up 23.4 per cent from the previous year.

The trade surplus widened to US$12.01 billion last month from US$7.56 billion in September, up 29.7 per cent from a year earlier.

According to customs, general trade grew 22.1 per cent to nearly US$48.6 billion from January to October while processing trade increased 26.5 per cent in this period to around US$552.7 billion.

By the end of October, China has chalked up a bilateral trade volume of over US$100 billion with five trade partners, statistics showed, with the European Union remaining in first place.

Trade between China and the European Union stood at US$176.3 billion in the first 10 months, up 24.1 per cent over the previous year.

The country's trade, in this period, with the United States and Japan reached US$172.3 billion and US$150 billion respectively.

With a total trade volume of US$340.7 billion, Guangdong was the largest trading province, closely followed by Jiangsu and Shanghai.

(China Daily 11/11/2005 page12)

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