Q3 figures expected to help foreign trade hit growth targets

Updated: 2013-10-13 08:20

By Bao Chang (China Daily)

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Thanks to a recovery in both exports and imports in the third quarter, China's foreign trade is likely to register an increase of up to 8 percent in 2013, achieving full-year trade growth target set by the government, analysts said.

Total foreign trade expanded 7.7 percent to 19.07 trillion yuan ($3.06 trillion) for the first three quarters, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released on Saturday.

"China's foreign trade showed a slight recovery posture for the first three quarters with the growth of imports and exports in the third quarter, rebounding to 6 percent from the 4.3 percent in the second quarter," Zheng Yuesheng, a spokesman for the customs agency, told journalists.

"The performance of China's foreign trade in the third quarter is better than that in the second quarter. We think the main reasons are the stable development of the domestic economy, the improved foreign environment and more stimulus for the increase of foreign trade," Zheng said.

In the first three quarters, China's exports rose 8 percent to 10.06 trillion yuan from a year earlier and imports registered 9.01 trillion yuan, an increase of 7.3 percent year on year.

"Seeing the good momentum in recent months, annual trade growth could reach 8 percent for the whole year, achieving the trade growth target set by the Ministry of Commerce," Zhou Shijian, a senior researcher at the Center for US-China Relations at Tsing-hua University, said.

Early this year, the Ministry of Commerce stated that although the foreign trade situation is still grim, it will grow in pace with national GDP for the whole year. Reflecting a growth of 7.5 percent in the second quarter, China's GDP is also expected to reflect a similar rate of increase of 7.5 percent for the full year.

"Fueled by rising foreign market demand, China's exports witnessed a stable increase and contributed significantly to the recovery of foreign trade as a whole," said Huo Jianguo, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.

"The good momentum will continue into the fourth quarter this year," he added.

Q3 figures expected to help foreign trade hit growth targets

According to a survey of nearly 2,000 import and export companies completed by customs in September, the number of organizations recording fewer new orders decreased 3.1 percentage points compared to August. The number of companies stating negative increases in fourth quarter exports decreased 2.7 percentage points compared to last month.

In addition, positive trends on new orders, business information and business operating cost signaled a recovery of exports.

The Purchasing Managers' Index also went up, driven by expansion of new orders and exports and manufacturing increase, indicating a rising trend for overall economic growth. In September, manufacturing PMI rose 51.1 from 51.0 in August, the highest since May 2012, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The domestic economy is showing steady recovery, boosting demand in imports.

Meanwhile, China's larger trading partners, including the United States and the European Union, are expected to increase their demand for Chinese goods during the year-end festive season, Zhou said.

"In the long run, however, China's foreign trade dependence on the developed economies will decrease as the country's trading partners become more diversified," according to customs spokesman Zheng.

Statistics from his department show China's trade with the EU, the nation's largest trade partner, dipped 0.8 percent from a year earlier to $408.6 billion during the period from January to September. Trade with the US, the country's second largest trade partner, rose 6.7 percent to $379.1 billion in the first nine months.


(China Daily 10/13/2013 page1)