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Wednesday 12th of January 2011
January 10, 2011    

China’s trade surplus narrows in December

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by Kay Murchie

Figures today from the customs authorities revealed Chinese exports surged 17.9% in December to $154.15 billion on an annual basis.

However, this was much slower than the 34.9% rise reported in November.

Imports, meanwhile, also rose, by 25.6% on a yearly basis to $141.07 billion, narrowing the country’s controversial trade surplus to $13.1 billion in December - a sharp decline from November’s $22.9 billion and much lower than analysts forecasts of $21.7 billion.

The value of both exports and imports were record highs, the customs authorities said.

However, according to analysts, today’s figures will not alleviate pressure from China’s key trading partners - in particular, the US, to allow the yuan to appreciate.

The US argues that China is keeping the value of the yuan low to help its exporters at the expense of overseas competitors.

Trade groups have argued that the yuan, also referred to as the renminbi, is kept up to 40% below what its value should be against the US dollar.

Beijing loosened its currency peg last June but the US has remarked that the yuan has appreciated just 2.65% against the dollar since that time.

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