China exported and imported US$40.67 billion worth of goods in the first month of this year, up 25.7 percent over the same period last year, according to the latest Customs figures.
Overall exports reached US$21.7 billion while total imports were valued at US$18.97 billion, up 29.2 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively, with a US$2.73 billion trade surplus.
Trade experts say the real growth rate for the country's foreign trade in January of this year would have been about 10 percent considering a smaller comparative base in January of 2001, during which the Chinese were busy celebrating their lunar New Year.
The weeklong Chinese lunar New Year holiday, the most important festival in China, began on January 24 last year, but will begin on February 12 this year. This makes a big difference in foreign trade volume.
According to the statistics released by the country's Customs, China has recorded a rapid increase in general trade exports and astable increase in imports.
A total of US$17.47 billion in general trade exports was recorded in January, an increase of 21.5 percent over the same month of last year.
Overseas-funded businesses remain the mover of the country's foreign trade with their foreign trade totaling US$20.99 billion in January, up 31 percent, accounting for about 51.6 percent of the country's total, up from 49.4 percent during the same period last year.
China's exports to its major trade partners the United States, Japan and European Union grew by 26 percent, and machinery and electronic goods accounted for 45.5 percent of total exports.
China's imports of cereal and related products rose to 420,000 tons, 210 percent higher than the same period last year, while its imports of steel and cars grew by 38.9 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2002)