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Asia Economy Last Updated: Jul 10, 2014 - 12:01 PM

Chinese exports grew slightly in June
By Finfacts Team
Jul 10, 2014 - 8:32 AM

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The sixth annual meeting of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) was held in Beijing today, July 10, 2014. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese exports grew slightly in June on the back of strengthening EU and US consumer demand, in a positive sign for China's factory sector and for the global economic outlook.

China's exports in June rose 7.2% year on year to US$186.8bn, as the country's foreign trade continued its warming trend, customs data showed on Thursday.

Imports went up 5.5% to $155.2bn and total foreign trade volume increased 6.4% to 342bn, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said.

Trade balance realized a surplus of $31.6bn in June, according to the GAC.

The combined foreign trade volume in the first half of this year saw a year-on-year growth of only 1.2% to $2.02tn, the data showed.

Exports increased 0.9% and imports went up 1.5% during the period, while the trade surplus stood at 102.86bn.

Xinhua, China's official news agency, reported that Zheng Yuesheng, GAC spokesman, attributed the improving export and import figures to rising demand due to global economic recovery and pro-trade measures from the Chinese central government, which together gradually reversed the weak performance in the first quarter.

However China's weak first-half trade will make it "tremendously hard" for China to reach its 7.5% trade growth target for 2014, Zheng said.

Weighed down by shrinking external demand, China's total foreign trade was disappointing in the January-March period, with exports down 3.4%, adding to concerns over the country's economic strength.

China's trade with major partners also gathered steam. During the first half, trade with the European Union saw the largest year-on-year growth of 9.6%, accounting for 14.4% of China's total foreign trade.

Its trade with the United States increased by 2.8% in the same period, followed by 2.6% with the ASEAN and 1.3% with Japan.

However, trade between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong dropped 24.1% from a year ago due to a high base figure, related to advance invoicing, in the corresponding period last year.

China set a trade growth target of 7.5% this year, lower than the 8% goal for 2013 and last year's actual expansion of 7.6%.

The Wall Street Journal says today that US imports of goods from China increased in each of the past four months to reach $37.99bn in May, according to Commerce Department data. Despite tepid global economic growth in recent years, China has continued to pick up market share. Nearly 20% of goods imported globally by the U.S. now come from China, up from 16% in 2008, although some say rapidly rising wages may blunt China's advantage.

Apple's imports would be one important factor in the rise.

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