China’s foreign trade to slow, says ministry

17 Oct 2013


China's trade would face challenges in coming months as demand from emerging markets slowed,  the Chinese commerce ministry said today.

According to ministry spokesman Shen Danyang, imports would continue to see increases in the coming months on a stabilising domestic economy.

China's exports were down 0.3 per cent in September from a year earlier as sales to Southeast Asia fell and imports rose 7.4 per cent in September, from a year ago.

China, however, was ready to take measures to support its exporters to ensure the trade sector grew 8 per cent this year as targeted, allowing exporters to see "mild growth" in the next few months, commerce ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said.

He added, although developed countries showed signs of recovery in recent months, some emerging economies were starting to lose growth momentum.

"Many risks, such as capital outflows, currency depreciation and rising inflation pressures also exacerbate the economic slowdown in emerging countries," he said.

Sales to Southeast Asia were up 10 per cent in September, a 17-month low, as against a 31 per cent growth in the previous month.

Fears about a possible cut in the US Federal Reserve's massive stimulus programme had led to investors withdrawing investments from emerging Asian markets.

The huge money outflow was expected to have hurt demand for Chinese goods from these economies, China's fastest growing export market in 2012.

A survey of Chinese exporters conducted by the ministry showed that export orders from emerging economies were fluctuating significantly, and the firms had shaky business confidence for the region.

Chinese exporters are already suffering from the appreciation of the yuan as also increasing labour costs, it said.

Despite these issues, China expected to meet its trade sector growth target of 8 per cent for 2013 with measures that would allow exporters to post a "mild growth" in the next few months.

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