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August 15, 2009

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Shanghai's exports widen fall

SHANGHAI'S exports tumbled 24.1 percent last month from a year earlier to US$12.2 billion, widening from a 14.8 percent drop in June, indicating that external demand still remained weak.

The city's imports fell 14.8 percent year on year to US$12.7 billion last month, also extending from a drop of 6.1 percent a month earlier.

However, the amount of both exports and imports was the highest so far this year. On a monthly basis, exports jumped 7.8 percent and imports gained 4.9 percent, Shanghai Customs said yesterday.

"The overall picture of trade is still gloomy," said Xue Jun, an analyst of trade at Changjiang Securities Co. "We can see a mild improvement from the monthly data, but a recovery in external demand may not happen anytime soon."

He also acknowledged the sharp decline in exports last month was partly due to the base differences, instead of worsening external demand.

Shanghai's trade declined 19.6 percent from a year earlier to US$24.9 billion in July. The decline was larger than the 10.5 percent fall in June, but the value of trade last month hit a record high since November last year.

The trend in the city's trade mirrored that of the country's. China's trade dropped 19.4 percent to US$200.2 billion last month. Exports slumping 23 percent from a year ago, widening from the loss of 21.4 percent in June.

Fu Ziying, vice minister of commerce, said on Wednesday that China should prepare for a prolonged recession in trade as the global economic recovery was still distant and foreign buyers curbed their spending while trade protectionism was rising.

Fu said China's trade wouldn't rebound until next year.

To help struggling exporters, Shanghai has offered several measures, including providing subsidies and cutting administrative fees, along with the country's decision to offer more export tax rebates.

The city organized a fair last month to link exporters with local retailers.


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