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March 11, 2010

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Home » Business » Economy

Rosy domestic, global pointers indicated in import-export rises

China's exports surged more than expected in February as imports continued strong growth, reflecting a robust domestic economy and signs of a global recovery after the long-term financial crisis.

China's exports jumped 45.7 percent in February from a year earlier to US$94.5 billion, sharply up from 21 percent in January, the General Administration of Customs said yesterday.

The actual pace of export growth was even faster considering the timing of the Spring Festival holiday, which fell in February this year but in January last year.

Imports advanced 44.7 percent year on year to US$86.9 billion, compared with a rise of 85.5 percent in January.

The easing growth was mainly a result of the holiday when many factories shut.

Trade surplus narrowed to US$7.6 billion last month from US$14.1 billion in January and US$18.4 billion in December.

"China's exports had a surprisingly good performance in February, much better than our expectations though we had predicted a strong growth based on a low comparative base," said Chen Lu, an analyst at Haitong Securities Co.

"Domestic demand will remain robust in the near future, enabling imports to retain the fast expansion we have seen since the end of last year."

Despite the declining trade surplus, the nation will face more calls for appreciation of the yuan, Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co, said.

"China's waning trade surplus is mainly due to more trade with emerging markets and new markets," Li said.

"Its traditional trading partners, like the European Union and the United States, will continue to demand a stronger yuan."

China has repeatedly rejected calls for the yuan's appreciation and said it was unfair to blame the local currency for global imbalances.

Commerce Minister Chen Deming said on Monday that any rise in the yuan's exchange rate would be gradual and controlled.

In February, China's trading with Brazil climbed 88.5 percent from a year earlier, the fastest among all countries.

It was followed by Malaysia and Indonesia, which surged 85.7 percent and 80 percent.

The EU and the US remained China's two biggest trading partners last month.

Another obstacle for a revival in China's exports is the escalating trade disputes.

The US has announced a slew of rulings against imports from China. In the past three months, the US has decided to levy tariffs on Chinese-made potassium phosphate salts, coated paper, steel tubes, gift-wrapping ribbons, electric blankets and wire deckings.

China was targeted in 116 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases last year, with more than US$12 billion involved.


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