China's food export decreased in November 2008, reversing the upward trend for each of the first 10 months of the year, as a result from September's tainted milk powder scandal and chemical-related egg contamination thereafter, the General Administration of Customs said Saturday.
The export value was 3.02 billion U.S. dollars in November, down four percent from the same month of 2007.
After the product safety scandals broke out, growth in the country's food exports slowed down to 15.6 percent in October from 28.9 percent in September.
However, from January to November, the nation's foreign sales of foodstuffs were 31 billion U.S. dollars, up 13.8 percent.
Of the total, 43.3 percent, or 13.42 billion U.S. dollars worth, were sold by foreign-funded companies, up 9.2 percent.
Aquatics and vegetables were the nation's main food exports, accounting for 15 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively, of the total.
Aquatics exports were 1.58 million tonnes, down 4 percent. They were valued at 4.65 billion U.S. dollars, up 9.5 percent.
Vegetable exports were 5.67 million tonnes, up 1.2 percent. They were valued at 3.68 billion U.S. dollars, down 0.7 percent.
Japan remained the largest market for China-made foodstuffs, receiving 5.34 billion U.S. dollars worth of foodstuffs from China, in the Jan.-Nov.period, down 8.4 percent. The customs administration said a tainted dumpling scandal that broke out earlier this year was also a factor in the decline.
The other four major markets for Chinese mainland's food exports were the European Union, the United States, ASEAN members and Hong Kong.
In a related development, China imported 22.62 billion U.S. dollars worth of foodstuffs between January and November, up 32.1 percent.
ASEAN members, the United States, the European Union, Argentina and Brazil were the major sources for China's food imports.
(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2009)