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First Quarter Foreign Trade Looks Good

The nation's foreign trade volume in the first quarter of this year climbed 15.9 percent year-on-year to US$113.81 billion, according to newly released statistics from the General Administration of Customs.

These figures indicate China achieved a favourable trade balance of US$4.73 billion from January to March this year, recording US$59.27 billion worth of exports and US$54.54 billion in imports, up 14.7 percent and 17.3 percent respectively.

In March, China's total trade increased 15.7 percent over the same period last year to US$43.91 billion, with US$23.14 billion coming from exports.

In terms of general trade, China's imports in the first quarter surged 22.7 percent to US$25.32 billion, 9.4 percent more than its exports, which stood at US$24.92 billion.

Analysts attributed the increase in imports to imports by overseas-funded enterprises of goods worth US$3.55 billion that were intended for use in projects in China.

China's exports to Japan, the members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Russia surged more than 20 percent, whereas exports to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Taiwan Province grew by 4.9 percent and 2.7 percent.

Exports of machinery and electric products climbed 24.7 per ent to US$26.22 billion. Exports of coal and crude oil also experienced rapid growth, up 101 percent and 262 percent respectively. In the first quarter, China exported 19.44 million tons of coal and 2.45 million tons of crude.

Going the other way, goods from Japan and the European Union alone accounted for one-third of China's total imports, totalling US$10 billion and US$8.08 billion respectively. Imports of crude oil were down, however, falling 20.6 percent year-on-year to 13.59 million tons.

(Xinhua 04/14/2001)

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