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Imports of Farm Produce Surge, Export Down
The Ministry of Agriculture said China's import of farm produce has increased while its export dropped during the first half of this year, a national newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Farm produce import rose by 8.8 percent over the same period of last year while export was down by 0.09 percent, according to the Beijing-based Economic Daily.

Overall foreign trade in farm produce rose by 3.5 percent while the ratio of its foreign trade volume to the country's total decreased by 0.04 percentage points to 5.4 percent, said the newspaper.

Based on customs data, the ministry was quoted as saying that import of soybean, rice, corn and barley surged while export of wheat increased.

China imported 5.972 million tons of soybean during the period, up 69 percent over the same period of last year, mostly from the United States, Brazil and Argentina.

China's cotton import jumped by 70 percent while export fell by 78 percent.

Sugar import rose by 130 percent while export dropped by 72 percent.

China's agricultural export to Asia went down by 2.3 percent and export to Europe increased by 13 percent.

Japan, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, and the United States were the largest markets for Chinese farm producing, accounting for 36 percent, 12 percent, 10 percent and 7 percent of China's total export.

Import from United States, Australia and Canada jumped by 30 percent, 11 percent and eight percent respectively.

The ministry blamed the slow-down of the world economy, surplus of farm produce on the international market, and trade protectionism in Japan and the Republic of Korea to China's negative growth in farm produce.

(Xinhua 08/29/2001)

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