Skip to main content

China's exports surge, trade surplus widens

By Paavan Mathema, for CNN
November 10, 2012 -- Updated 0808 GMT (1608 HKT)
Containers been loaded on to a ship at the Qingdao port, in northeastern China's Shandong province on March 9, 2012.
Containers been loaded on to a ship at the Qingdao port, in northeastern China's Shandong province on March 9, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • China's exports swell by 11.6% in October
  • Foreign trade expands 6.4% in first 10 months of this year
  • Commerce minister says 10% trade growth unlikely for 2012
  • Growth hit by European slowdown, higher operating costs

Hong Kong (CNN) -- China's trade surplus widened further in October to $32 billion as exports swelled 11.6%, the strongest rise since May, state-run news agency Xinhua reported Saturday.

During the same period, imports rose 2.4% year-on-year, the same rate of growth recorded in September.

In the first ten months of 2012, the country's total foreign trade expanded 6.3% to $3.16 trillion compared to the same period last year.

China had set a target of target of 10% growth in foreign trade this year, however the country's commerce minister has said that will be difficult to achieve.

Can China's new leader maintain growth?

"Even though our year-on-year export growth rate rebounded slightly to 9.9% in September and 11% in October, it remains very difficult for us to achieve the 10% foreign trade growth target for the whole year," Chen said on the sidelines of the Communist Party's 18th National Congress in Beijing, according to Xinhua.

Challenges for China's new leaders

Read more: Hu warns of corruption threat

China's Middle East trading ties

Chen said that China could instead expect to maintain its share of global trade.

Last year, China's trade surged 22.5 percent, however this year weak global demand, higher operating costs and growing trade protectionism were putting pressure on exports, Xinhua reported.

In the first ten months of this year, trade with China's largest trading partner, the European Union fell 3% amid a severe economic downturn and a series of severe austerity measures. A territorial dispute between China and Japan has also taken a toll on their economic relations, pushing trade between the two down by 2.1%.

Read more: Will the music stop for China's economy?

The falls were offset by China's growing trade relations with the United States, ASEAN countries, Russia and Brazil. This year, China's trade with the U.S., its second largest trading partner, increased by 9.1% to $396 billion.

The positive figures come as thousands of delegates meet in Beijing for a once-in-a-decade leadership change. Next week, Xi Jinping is expected to be named the country's new president, replacing current President Hu Jintao.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2014 GMT (0414 HKT)
Despite China's inexorable economic rise, the U.S. is still an indispensable ally, especially in Asia. No one knows this more than the Asian giant's leaders, writes Kerry Brown.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
The new U.S. deal with China on greenhouse gases faces enormous challenges in both countries. Jonathan Mann explains.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 0338 GMT (1138 HKT)
For the United States and China to announce a plan reducing carbon emissions by almost a third by the year 2030 is a watershed moment for climate politics on so many fronts.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 2026 GMT (0426 HKT)
China shows off its new stealth fighter jet, but did it steal the design from an American company? Brian Todd reports.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0101 GMT (0901 HKT)
Airshow China in Zhuhai provides a rare glimpse of China's military and commercial aviation hardware.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
A new exchange initiative aims to bridge relations between the two countries .
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0551 GMT (1351 HKT)
Xi and Abe's brief summit featured all the enthusiasm of two unhappy schoolboys forced to make up after a schoolyard dust-up.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0112 GMT (0912 HKT)
Maybe you've decided to show your partner love with a new iPhone. But how about 99 of them?
November 3, 2014 -- Updated 0219 GMT (1019 HKT)
Can China's Muslim minority fit in? One school is at the heart of an ambitious experiment to assimilate China's Uyghurs.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1455 GMT (2255 HKT)
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one of thousands of Americans learning Chinese.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou says he needs to maintain good economic ties with China while trying to keep Beijing's push for reunification at bay.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0528 GMT (1328 HKT)
Chinese drone-maker DJI wants to make aerial photography drones mainstream despite concerns about privacy.
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 0518 GMT (1318 HKT)
A top retired general confesses to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in war on corruption.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
China sends an unmanned spacecraft to the moon and back but is country following an outdated recipe for superpower status?
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
Full marks for ingenuity: Students employ high-tech gadgets worthy of a spy movie to pass national exam.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0526 GMT (1326 HKT)
Confucius Institutes seek to promote Chinese language and culture but some have accused them of "cultural imperialism."
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G wants everyone to know that he's not a foreign agitator trying to defy the Chinese Communist Party.
ADVERTISEMENT