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China reports $7.3 bln trade deficit in February

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BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- China recorded a trade deficit of 7.3 billion U.S. dollars in February, the General Administration of Customs(GAC) said Thursday.

This is China's first monthly trade deficit since March 2010. In the first two months this year, China posted a trade deficit of 890 million U.S. dollars, as January's trade surplus shrank year on year by more than half to 6.45 billion U.S.dollars.

The GAC attributed the deficit to the week-long Spring Festival break in early February, saying the holiday had hindered export growth.

China's foreign trade rose by 10.6 percent year on year to 200.78 billion U.S. dollars last month, said the customs.

Exports grew by 2.4 percent year on year to 96.74 billion U.S. dollars in February while imports increased by 19.4 percent to 104.04 billion U.S. dollars.

For the first two months of the year, China's foreign trade totaled 495.83 billion U.S.dollars, representing a 28.3 percent growth from the same period last year.

The European Union remained China's largest trade partner in the period, with EU-China trade up 16.3 percent year on year to 76.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Meanwhile, trade with the United States rose 22.6 percent year on year to 60.5 billion U.S. dollars while China-Japan trade jumped 28.8 percent year on year to 48.85 billion U.S. dollars.

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said earlier this week during the ongoing annual parliamentary session, that it was possible that China would register trade deficits in some months, as the growth of imports would likely soon outpace that of exports.

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