China's trade strengthens as exports rise 7.2 %
Beijing: Global trading giant China's exports rose 7.2 percent in August year on year to USD 190.73 billion, fired mainly by Christmas and New Year orders to EU and US whose economies are showing signs of recovery.
The exports growth rate was 2.1 percentage points higher than July, figures released by China's General Administration of Customs said today.
Imports also saw a spurt in August, gaining 7 percent to USD 162.12 billion. Total foreign trade grew 7.1 percent in August over the same month of 2012 to USD 352.85 billion, the statement added.
Similarly, trade surplus widened by 8.3 percent year on year to USD 28.61 billion as export gains outpaced import gains, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
In August, trade with the European Union, China's largest trading partner, rose by 3.2 percent, while that with the United States, China's second-largest trade partner, witnessed upward swing by 9.2 percent.
Analysts attribute the exports increase to heavy orders for the Christmas and New Year festive season in the western countries, which normally takes place in August and closes September.
China has emerged as the main global exporter of commodities for the annual festive season for over a decade.
The increase to EU and US markets were considered significant as China's economic slowed down to 7.5 percent mainly after the slump in their economies, which had a big negative impact on China's exports, the main stay of the country's economy.
Also China's trade with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members increased 13.2 percent in August. But trade with Japan shrank 5.7 percent during the period as the two countries continue to squabble over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, which is having its toll on bilateral trade.
Exports of electronics and machinery products also grew by 6.8 percent to reach USD 106.54 billion in August, accounting for 55.9 percent of the total exports.
The recovery of exports comes at a time when China planned to deepen its economic reforms to halt the slowdown of its economy, which shrank to 7.5 percent in the second quarter with chances of missing this year's target of 7.5 percent growth.