China's Exports Down 21.4%

Trade surplus was $8.2 billion for June

The latest plunge was the eighth straight monthly decline, but a less steep tumble than the 26.4% year on year fall the previous month.

The latest drop in exports, to $95.4 billion, underlines how the country's crucial manufacturing sector has been hit by a fall in demand from the U.S. and Europe during the global economic crisis.

Imports tumbled 13.2% year-on-year in June to $87.2 billions.

For the first six months of the year, the trade surplus was $96.9 billion, down 1.3% compared to the same period in 2008. For June alone the trade-surplus was $8.2 billion.

"I don't think we are seeing any signs of significant recovery in the export sector this year," said Stephen Green, an economist at Standard Chartered, speaking in Beijing. Green said it was too early to say whether the reduction in China's trade surplus would be sustained. "It looks like it is getting smaller, but that is because China is now growing faster than the rest of the world. "As soon as the world economy bounces back perhaps next year, that is going to put more pressure for (China's) trade surplus to rise again."

Since China's unprecedented $585 billion fiscal package was revealed late last year, the country's economy has shown some signs of stabilising. The stimulus was aimed at lifting the economy mainly through investment in large infrastructure projects.

China's economy is heavily dependent on exports, and the slowdown led to the closure of thousands of factories in the country's southern and eastern manufacturing heartlands in the last year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

TAGS: Trade
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