13 November 2007
China's trade surplus jumps to record in October

Associated Press China's politically sensitive trade surplus soared again in October, hitting an alltime monthly high of US$27.05 billion, the country's customs office said Monday.

The General Administration of Customs said in a statement on its Web site that the October figure was up 13.5 percent from the same month a year ago. The previous monthly record was US$26.9 billion, set in June. September's surplus was $23.91 billion.

China's trade surplus for the first 10 months jumped a massive 59 percent to $212.36 billion. It has boomed this year despite recalls and warnings targeting faulty or tainted Chinese goods ranging from tooth paste to tires to seafood in the United States and other countries.

The customs agency said October imports climbed 25.5 percent from the same month a year earlier to $80.67 billion, slightly faster than the 22.3 percent growth in exports, which totaled $107.73 billion.

The agency did not give a separate surplus figure for trade with the United States. The United States reported a $232.5 biilion trade deficit with (China last year,; its biggestever with any country. The gap this year is on track to surpass that.

The : United States and other trading partners are pressing Beijing to ease currency controls and barriers to imports. Some U.S. law makers are pressing for sanctions on China if it fails to ease controls on its currency, the yuan, which critics say is undervalued and gives Chinese exporters an unfair price advantage.

China's trade surplus has also raised concern in Europe, and will be discussed when EU leaders visit Beijing later this month for meetings.

"We want more attention to our specific needs, our specific concerns, in intellectual property, in product safety, in opening Chinese markets which are still not fully open, in welcoming our investment," EU Ambassador Serge About told a news conference.
Beijing insists it is not actively pursuing a trade surplus and has tried to cool the boom by repealing rebates of valueadded taxes on hundreds of products and imposing additional taxes on exports of some goods, such as steel.

Despite such steps, foreign demand for Chinese goods has surged while import growth has slowed due to government efforts to contain a boom in construction and investment that it worries could cause a financial crisis. That has cut into Chinese purchases of factory equipment and other foreign goods. For the first 10 months of the year, China's exports grew 26.5 percent to $985.84 billion, while the value of imports rose 19.8 percent to $773.48 billion.

Source : The Jakarta Post

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