China records high trade surplus

September 10, 2008

, BEIJING, September 10 – China\’s trade surplus hit a monthly record of 28.7 billion dollars in August, authorities said Wednesday.

China\’s exports last month increased 21.1 percent from a year earlier to 134.9 billion dollars, while imports were up 23.1 percent to 106.2 billion dollars, according to customs data.

The previous monthly surplus record was 27.1 billion dollars in October last year.

The August data is likely to add new pressure on China to revalue its currency, as its foreign trade partners have argued an artificially low yuan is giving its exporters an unfair advantage.

Adjusting for inflation and changes in the exchange rate between the yuan and the US dollar, it is still clear that China\’s exports are growing fast, argued Stephen Green, a Shanghai-based economist with Standard Chartered.

"China?s export sector is still pumping out more than 10 percent more stuff this summer than it was last summer — something you would hardly realise from news reports of tens of thousands of factories closing," he said in a research note.

Green said it was likely that thousands of "small, inefficient producers are going out of business" — describing that as good news — while large exporters were still expanding production.

In the first eight months of the year, China\’s trade surplus was 152.0 billion dollars, down 6.2 percent from the same period of 2007.

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