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China Focus: China's surplus hits record high in August with exports up 9.4 pct

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BEIJING, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's exports in August rose 9.4 percent year-on-year to 208 billion U.S. dollars, with monthly trade surplus reaching an all-time high of 49.8 billion U.S. dollars.

The export growth was significantly lower than the 14.5-percent rise in July, but higher than June's 7.2 percent

In August, China's imports continued to contract and stood at 159 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year decrease of 2.4 percent, after dropping 1.6 percent in July, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said in a statement.

Trade surplus in August jumped 77.8 percent year-on-year and hit a record high again, after reaching an all-time high of 47.3 billion U.S. dollars in July.

Last month, China's total trade volume rose 4 percent year-on-year to 367.1 billion U.S. dollars.

For the first eight months, total trade edged up by 2.3 percent to 2.77 trillion U.S. dollars, with exports up 3.8 percent to 1.48 trillion U.S. dollars and imports up 0.6 percent to 1.28 trillion U.S. dollars.

In the Jan.-Aug. period, China posted a total trade surplus of 200 billion, an increase of 30.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the GAC.

The European Union (EU) continued to be China's biggest trading partner, with two-way trade totaling 404.1 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months, up 11.4 percent from a year earlier.

In the first eight months, China exported 241.9 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods to the EU, representing a year-on-year increase of 10.9 percent. While China's imports from the EU rose 12.9 percent year-on-year to 162.1 billion U.S. dollars, GAC data showed.

China's trade with the United States, the second largest trade partner, gained 6.1 percent year-on-year to 354 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months.

China's exports to the U.S. were up 7 percent to 249 billion U.S. dollars, while imports rose 4 percent to 105 billion U.S. dollars.

China's total trade with the ASEAN till the end of August stood at 301 billion U.S. dollars, up 6 percent from the same period last year. Trade with Japan edged up 2 percent to 204 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months.

Trade between China's mainland and Hong Kong continued to stay in contraction territory, falling 16.5 percent to 223.5 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months.

In terms of regional performance on foreign trade, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Beijing took the lead.

The southern Chinese province of Guangdong, a traditional export powerhouse, recorded 4.02 trillion yuan (652.6 billion U.S. dollars) in foreign trade in the first eight months, down 11.7 percent (under yuan term) over the same period last year.

In the first eight months, China's central and western regions saw faster growth rates in export than traditional exporting regions in the east, GAC said in the statement.

Yunnan, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Guangxi and Hunan saw their exports till the end of August growing by 49.5 percent, 45.7 percent, 34.2 percent, 28.2 percent and 26.4 percent, respectively.

GAC data showed that China's import value of commodity products continued to fall, despite a rising import volume, owing to decline in global commodity prices.

In Jan.-Aug., China imported 201 million tonnes of crude oil, up 8.4 percent year-on-year, at an average price of 4,796 yuan per tonne. Iron ore imports rose 16.9 percent from a year earlier to 614 million tonnes, at an average price of 681 yuan per tonne, down 16 percent year-on-year.

China's coal imports contracted 5.3 percent to 202 million tonnes in the first eight months, at an average price of 480.5 yuan per tonne, down 15.3 percent from a year ago.

In the first eight months, China's grain imports jumped 24.4 percent to 671 million tonnes. Of that, soybean imports totaled 477 tonnes, up 16.2 percent from a year earlier, customs data showed.

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