Decline in China’s Exports Accelerates

BBC Chinese Network Created: March 29, 2009 Last Updated: March 29, 2009
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The decline in Chinese exports accelerated in the first two months of this year as a slump in global demand worsened.

Chinese trade fell to $266.77 billion, plunging 27.2 percent from a year earlier in January and February, said the Chinese customs agency last week. Exports sank to $155.33 billion, with a 21.1 percent decrease, and imports were $111.44 billion, down 34.2 percent.

China’s customs agency added that the nation’s global exports fell to $64.9 in February, down 25.7 percent, compared with January's 17.5 percent fall. Imports fell by 24.1 percent to $60.05 in February—smaller than January's stunning 43 percent plunge, but still a blow to China's trading partners.

The export decline increases pressure on Beijing to reduce reliance on trade by boosting domestic demand with its 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package.

Statistics reveal that in February the trade volume between China and its largest trading partner, Europe, was $48.78 billion, down 20.2 percent.

China also experienced a fall in trade volume with its second largest trading partner, the United States, seeing only $39.43 billion U.S. dollars, down 17.4 percent.

The trend continues with Japan, China's third largest trading partner. Sino-Japanese trade volume was 28.56 billion U.S. dollars, down 25.7 percent.

At a press conference for the National People's Congress and People's Political Consultative Conference earlier this week, Chinese commerce minister Chen Deming warned, that with a worsening world economy combined with several uncertain factors, China's foreign trade is expected to remain very grim.

But he added that China will continue to take measures to promote trade growth and to maintain the steady growth of the domestic economy.

Analysts say that the collapse in global demand for Chinese toys, shoes and other goods has prompted thousands of factories to close, leaving 20 million migrants Chinese out of work.

Chinese authorities worry that more job losses could lead to civil unrest and are promising to spend heavily to create employment.

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