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Trade Surplus Expected to Exceed US$100b in First Half
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China's trade surplus will top 100 billion US dollars in the first half of the year, up 60 percent on the same period of last year, an analyst with the General Administration of Customs told Xinhua.

Huang Guohua, a senior statistical analyst with the administration, predicted that the June trade volume and trade surplus figures would exceed May because of a surge in exports spurred by the latest tax policy change.

Huang said the total exports and imports in the first half would be close to one trillion US dollars.

Manufacturers have been rushing to export as much as possible before the deadline after the government announced on June 19 it would cut or eliminate export tax rebates for 2,831 commodities starting July 1.

The new policy, which covers more than a third of the total number of items listed on customs tax regulations, was seen as the toughest measure so far to combat overheated export growth and ease frictions between China and its trade partners.

The latest export-tightening move -- which imposed extra export tariffs and cut import duties as of June 1 -- has created an export boom and lifted May's trade surplus by 22.45 billion US dollars, up 73 percent on the corresponding period of last year.

Official figures show the aggregate surplus for the first five months jumped 84 percent year-on-year to US$85.7 billion.

Huang said the trade surplus for this year would remain at a high level but the growth rate would slow down in the second half.

An earlier report released by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) forecast the country's trade volume would grow by around 20 percent in 2007 to reach more than US$2.1 trillion.

The country will make further efforts to rein in the surging surplus by expanding imports and curbing exports of high-energy-consuming and high-polluting products, said vice commerce minister Wei Jianguo on Tuesday.

The trade figures for June will be officially released next week.

(Xinhua News Agency July 6, 2007)

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