BBC NEWS | 2010/01/10 | 10:05:34 GMT
China’s exports rose 17.7% in December, state media has reported, suggesting the country has overtaken Germany as the world’s largest exporter. The rise, compared to a year earlier, breaks a 13-month decline in trade as a result of the global downturn. Xinhua said total exports for 2009 were $1.2tn (£749bn), but total foreign trade over the year was down 13.9%. Correspondents say the figures will lead to new demands from China’s competitors that it devalue the Yuan. Last year saw a continuing decrease in China’s trade as the global economic downturn led to a fall in demand for its products. But in the last few weeks of the year, there was a far greater rise than forecasters had expected, with foreign exports reaching $130.7bn, up 17.7% on the previous December.
China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) said exports overall in the year were $1.2tn, down 16% from in 2008, while imports were 11.2% down from a year earlier at $1.01tn. The politically sensitive total trade surplus was down 34.2% to $196.1bn, a fall of almost a third. The figures suggest China will surpass Germany’s export total for the whole of 2009, although this will not be confirmed until Germany’s full-year data is published in February. Continue reading