HOME > China's exports down 3.1 pct in June

China's exports took a surprising tumble in June, putting pressure on growth of the world's second-largest economy.

Exports dropped 3.1 percent year on year last month to 174.32 billion U.S. dollars, while imports went down 0.7 percent from a year earlier to 147.19 billion U.S. dollars, according to General Administration of Customs (GAC) data on Wednesday.

Total foreign trade in June declined 2 percent year on year to 321.51 billion U.S. dollars.

GAC spokesman Zheng Yuesheng said that China's foreign trade growth rate has been on a downward trend in the first half of the year. It grew 13.5 percent in the first quarter year on year and 4.3 percent in the second quarter, but just 0.3 percent in May and now a 2 percent fall in June.

Monthly figures also indicated that foreign trade activities are slowing down, said Zheng. June's total foreign trade fell 6.8 percent from May, with exports down 4.6 percent and imports dropping 9.3 percent month on month, he said.

Zheng attributed the slump in foreign trade mainly to weak global demand, a rising yuan, higher labor costs, various trade friction and faltering domestic demand.

He said in the short term, all these risks can not be eleminated. China's foreign trade is faced with a complicated situation with difficulties and challenges ahead.

Zheng said the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russia have all seen foreign trade shrink from a year earlier in the first five months, while the European Union saw trade up only 0.3 percent in the first four months compared with the same period in 2012.

In the first six months, China's foreign trade, with 8.6-percent growth year on year, recorded the best performance among the world major economies despite the fact that it is slowing down, he said.

Zheng said lackluster figures in China's major trade partners signalled that global demand remained weak, putting pressure on the country's exports.

As for imports, Zheng said faltering domestic demand has reduced China's appetite for commodities and resources.

The country's economic growth eased to 7.8 percent last year, the slowest since 1999. It further slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

Data for the second quarter is due on July 15. Economists have predicted that China's economic growth could decline to 7.5 percent, close to the government's target for the year.

Zheng stressed that China needs to make more efforts to improve its trade structure to sustain market share in global trade.



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