China foreign trade growth slows, surplus widens
Beijing, May 10 (IANS) China's foreign trade rose 2.7 percent year-on-year to $308 billion in April, with a surplus of $18 billion, authorities said Thursday.
The growth rate represents a month-on-month slowdown and surplus has widened from the $53.5 billion logged in March, according the General Administration of Customs (GAC) data.
Exports and imports growth in April both saw a pull-back on a monthly basis, reported Xinhua.
Exports amounted to $163.25 billion in April, up 4.9 percent year-on-year, while imports edged up 0.3 percent to reach $144.83 billion.
For the first four months of the year, the country's total foreign trade rose 6 percent from a year earlier to $1.17 trillion, with exports and imports up 6.9 percent and 5.1 percent to $593.24 billion and $573.94 billion respectively.
China saw trade surplus of $19.3 billion during the January-April period, the GAC said.
The European Union remained China's largest trading partner in the first four months, but the bilateral trade growth has slowed considerably to just 0.3 percent year-on-year to $170.53 billion.
During the January-April period, China's trade with the US -- its second-largest trade partner -- increased 9.2 percent year-on-year to $146.1 billion, according to the GAC.
The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China's third-largest trade partner, posted a 6.7 percent increase in bilateral trade, amounting to $117.65 billion in the first four months.
Bilateral trade between China and Japan, which is still reeling from last year's devastating tsunami and massive earthquake, dropped 1.5 percent from a year earlier to $107.18 billion.
But China's trade with Russia, which joined the World Trade Organization this year, and Brazil, a major exporter of iron ore and other raw materials, saw robust growth of 27.7 percent and 14.4 percent to $28.69 billion and $25.07 billion respectively.
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