MOFCOM’s comments on China’s trade deficit

According to the statistics from the General Administration of Customs, China’s exports were valued at US $112.11 billion in March, up by 24.3 percent year on year, while the imports were up by 66 percent to US $119.35 billion, and the trade deficit were US $ 7.24 billion. This is the first monthly trade deficit for China since May of 2004.

Yao Jian, Spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of China, stated that the trade deficit in March stemmed mainly from the remarkable increase of the import due to the steady growth of our economy and constant increase in domestic consumption. In March, our demand for crude oil, iron ore, copper and oil product made our imports increase by 15.3%, of which 3.1 percentage points contributed by increase in volume and 12.2 percentage points contributed by increase in price rise. Besides, the imports of major consumer goods increased remarkably. In the first quarter, the value of auto imports of China amounted to 6.83 billion dollars, up by 159.1%, among which, imports in March amounted to 3.22 billion dollars, up by 240.8%.

Yao stated that China consistently adhered to the open market, positive expansion of imports from countries all over the world in implementing its policy package of stimulating domestic demand, which improved the balanced international payments. In the first three months, the imports rose by 64.6 percent and the trade surplus decreased by 76.7%. It is expected that China’s trade surplus for the year will drop further from the decrease of 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2009. He emphasized that China never pursued a trade surplus purposefully, and will actively increase imports with stable exports and promote a balanced, coordinated and sustained development of foreign trade.
Yao also stressed that the continuous improvement of the trade balance had created conditions for China to keep the Chinese yuan’s value basically stable. He said that China’s trade surplus continued to fall under a basically stable yuan exchange rate. This proved again that in an era of economic globalization, it is not exchange rate but market supply and demand and other factors that decide trade balance. MOFCOM hoped that relevant countries could abolish the export control measures targeted at China as soon as possible and create conditions for promoting the balanced development of the bilateral trade.

Source: Ministry of Commerce Website;


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