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February 25, 2014

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China expects trade to expand in 2014

China is “cautiously optimistic” about expanding its trade this year after both exports and imports performed well in January, a commerce ministry spokesman said yesterday.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the trade outlook,” Shen Danyang, a ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

“We are confident that China’s trade can maintain a similar growth momentum as that of last year based on further economic restructuring.”

In US dollar terms, China’s trade jumped 10.3 percent from a year earlier in January, with exports rising 10.6 percent and imports up 10 percent. They both grew faster than that in December and ahead of market expectations.

In yuan terms, China’s trade rose 7.3 percent last month as the currency appreciated, Shen said. The yuan firmed 2.9 percent in January from the same period of last year.

But Shen warned that low profit due to high business costs, a strong yuan and the difficulties in raising prices will continue to impact exporters.

He suggested ‘‘we should conduct serious monitoring and analysis to track the growth trend for trade.”

In a previous interview, Shen attributed China’s surprisingly good trade numbers in January to the fast recovery of global demand, the government’s policies to stabilize trade and seasonal factors. He refuted speculation the trade data were falsified.

In 2013, China’s total trade value expanded  7.6 percent annually to US$4.16 trillion, overtaking US$4 trillion for the first time.



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