Related News

Home » Business » Economy

Exports fall again as global woe hits home

CHINA'S trade slump worsened in December as exports fell at their fastest rate in a decade, the government said yesterday.

December exports dropped 2.8 percent from the same month a year earlier, after a 2.2 percent decline in November, the General Administration of Customs said.

China's global trade surplus for 2008 rose 12.7 percent over 2007 to a record US$295.5 billion.

"Starting in October, our orders dropped sharply. We basically stopped production after October," said Sun Bin, general manager of Huang Gang Hengsheng Clothing Import & Export Co in the central province of Hubei. The company sells clothing to the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

"We don't dare to produce, because the more clothes we make, the more we will lose," Sun said.

December's export decline was the sharpest since April 1999, according to JP Morgan & Co.

"Export growth is likely to be flat in 2009, with negative year-over-year growth in the near term," Jing Ulrich, JP Morgan's chairwoman of China equities, said in a report.

China has cut taxes for exporters and taken other steps to help struggling manufacturers.

The government is trying to reduce reliance on exports with a 4-trillion-yuan (US$586 billion) stimulus package announced in November that is aimed at boosting domestic consumption.

The decline in China's imports also accelerated in December, with purchases of foreign goods falling 21.3 percent. That was bigger than November's 17.9 percent decline and reflected China's domestic economic slowdown.

The fall was due in part to lower prices for imported oil and raw materials but also reflected weaker demand in domestic industries such as construction and steel.

Exports in December were US$111.2 billion, while imports were US$72.2 billion, the customs agency said. That made December's trade surplus US$39 billion, the second-biggest after November's all-time high of US$40.1 billion.

China's monthly trade surplus with the United States in December fell by 9.5 percent from a year earlier to US$12.4 billion, but the total 2008 surplus with the US rose 4.6 percent to US$170.8 billion, the customs data showed.

The monthly trade surplus with the 27-nation European Union fell 1.6 percent from a year earlier to US$11.7 billion, while the full-year 2008 surplus was up 19.4 percent at US$160.2 billion.

Shanghai's customs officials reported yesterday that the city's exports fell 1.5 percent in December from a year earlier to US$28.92 billion, the second monthly decline.

Imports slumped 20.5 percent to US$14.56 billion.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend