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August Trade Surplus Hits US$18.8b
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China posted a record trade surplus of US$18.8 billion in August, far exceeding the previous peak of US$14.6 billion the previous month, according to the General Administration of Customs.

The August surplus, the fourth consecutive monthly record, was driven by a 32.8 percent jump in exports from a year earlier, which outpaced the 24.6 percent rise in imports. August exports recorded US$90.8 billion while imports were US$72 billion.

China posted a trade surplus of US$94.65 billion in the first eight months, up 57 percent over the same period last year. Exports rose nearly 26 percent to about US$600 billion while imports reached US$505 billion, an increase of 21.6 percent.

Mei Xinyu, a trade researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation, said the August record should not be a major surprise as there is no major change in the external factors affecting overseas trade.

Many research reports and analysts forecast China's full-year trade surplus to reach between US$140 billion and US$150 billion. They agree that the appreciation of the currency is too small to really affect the trade balance and there are simply no major drivers for a major change in the trade balance this year.

The rising surplus is believed to pose a challenge on China's strategy of letting the yuan rise gradually so exporters with small profit margins have time to adjust.

(China Daily September 12, 2006)

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