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China sees recovery of food export in first quarter
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China's foodstuff export recovered in the first quarter of this year, despite seeing a nearly 25 percent fall in exports to Japan after a food scare.

Between January and March, China sold 6.59 million tonnes of food abroad, a growth of 11.6 percent on the same period of last year, sources with the General Administration of Customs said on Wednesday. The exports were valued at 7.58 billion U.S. dollars, up 10.7 percent, the sources added.

In March alone, the exports were 2.36 million tonnes, or 2.41 billion U.S. dollars worth, up 21.7 percent and 16.3 percent respectively.

ASEAN members, Hong Kong, the European Union and Japan bought 57.2 percent of the Chinese mainland's food exports in the first three months.

In breakdown, the mainland sold 1.27 million tonnes of foodstuffs to ASEAN members from January to March, up 24.6 percent, 965,000 tonnes to Hong Kong, up 24 percent, and 894,000 tonnes to the European Union, up 29.2 percent.

However, the food exports to Japan declined, largely because of the dumpling poisoning incident that led 10 people to fall sick in Japan in late January.

China sold 647,000 tonnes of foodstuffs to Japan in the first three months, down 24.1 percent from a year earlier.

Of China's total food exports, private businesses made up for 3.33 million tonnes, or 50.5 percent, and foreign-funded companies accounted for 2.21 million tonnes, or 33.5 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency May 21, 2008)

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