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China swings back to trade surplus in March

04-10-2012 13:32 BJT

BEIJING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- China swung back to trade surplus in March from February's deficit of 31.48 billion U.S. dollars, posting a 670-million-dollar trade surplus in the first quarter, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Tuesday.

The country's foreign trade in March rose 7.1 percent year-on-year to reach 325.97 billion U.S. dollars, with a trade surplus of 5.35 billion U.S. dollars.

Exports amounted to 165.66 billion U.S. dollars in March, up 8.9 percent year-on-year, while imports reached 160.31 billion dollars, the GAC data showed.

For the first quarter, China's imports and exports expanded 7.3 percent from a year ago to reach 859.37 billion U.S. dollars, with its foreign trade with major trading partners growing in single-digits, according to the GAC.

Despite the lingering debt crisis, the European Union remained China's largest trading partner in the first quarter, but China-EU bilateral trade growth slowed to 2.6 percent year-on-year to reach 126.87 billion U.S. dollars.

In the first three months, China's trade with the United States -- its second-largest trade partner -- increased 9.3 percent year-on-year to 106.77 billion U.S. dollars, according to the customs data.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held its position as China's third-largest trade partner, with China-ASEAN bilateral trade amounting to 86.78 billion U.S. dollars, up 9.2 percent year-on-year.

Japan, which is still struggling to recover from last year's devastating tsunami and massive earthquake, posted a year-on-year decline of 1.6 percent in bilateral trade with China in the first quarter, or 79.44 billion U.S. dollars.

However, China's trade with Russia, which joined the World Trade Organization this year, showed a rapid growth of 33 percent year-on-year to hit 21.49 billion U.S. dollars.

Meanwhile, China's trade with Brazil, a major exporter of iron ore and other raw materials, gained 11.5 percent from the previous year to hit 18 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter.

During the January-March period of 2011, China reported its first quarterly trade deficit in seven years.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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