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 China's imports, exports drop 10.7% in Oct 

Xinhua  2009-11-11

China's imports and exports fell 10.7 percent in October year on year, but monthly exports exceeded100 billion U.S. dollars for a fourth straight month this year, the General Administration of Customs announced Wednesday.

Imports stood at 86.8 billion U.S. dollars for October, a decrease of 6.4 percent compared with the same month last year, while exports dropped 13.8 percent to 110.8 billion U.S. dollars.

From January to October, the country's imports and exports totaled 1.76 trillion U.S. dollars, down 19.9 percent compared with the same period last year.

Imports for the first 10 months were 798.13 billion U.S. dollars, down 19 percent year on year; exports declined 20.5 percent to 957.36 billion U.S. dollars.

The trade surplus for the first 10 months was down 27.2 percent at 159.23 billion U.S. dollars.

The EU was China's biggest trading partner for this period, though bilateral trade declined 18.7 percent to 292.42 billion U.S. dollars in value; the U.S. was second with bilateral trade at239.36 billion U.S. dollars, down 14.9 percent; Japan followed with bilateral trade down 19.3 percent at 182.34 billion U.S. dollars.

Exports dropped 13.8 percent in October year on year, the smallest decline rate since January. In September, the rate was 15.2 percent.

"This suggests improving demand from overseas," said Zhang Junsheng, an international trade expert with the University of International Business and Economics, while forecasting exports would continue the downward trend until the first quarter next year.

Exports of labor-intensive products for the first 10 months showed a lower rate of decline than the average 20.5 percent drop in exports, the administration said.

In the year to October, the export value of garments dropped 10.9 percent, textiles were down 12.9 percent, and shoes fell 6 percent.

Meanwhile, imports of crude oil rose 9.4 percent, steel was up 10.3 percent, and iron ore increased by 36.8 percent, despite the 19-percent drop in total value of imports.

Zhang said this was because of rising industrial output and urban fixed-asset investment, which required more imports of some bulk stocks.

The National Bureau of Statistics announced Wednesday that industrial output of the world's third largest economy increased 9.4 percent year on year over first 10 months, and urban fixed-asset investment rose 33.1 percent to 15.07 trillion yuan (2.21 trillion U.S. dollars).

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