China reports $1.02bn trade deficit in Q1 on higher imports

11 April 2011 05:29  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--China recorded its first quarterly trade deficit since 2004 amid strong domestic demand and higher import prices, an analyst said on Monday.

China Customs said on 10 April that the trade deficit, valued at $1.02bn (€703.8m) in the first quarter, was mainly attributed to higher imports.

From January to March, China’s exports rose 26.5% year on year to $399.6bn, while imports advanced 32.6% to $400.7bn, according to the data from China Customs.

“China is a country largely relying on the imports of commodities and raw material products. Since import commodity prices rose sharply in the last three months, the imports value exceeded the exports,” said Li Huaijun, an analyst from First Capital Securities Co in Beijing.

Meanwhile, robust domestic demand and Chinese currency appreciation helped to prop up domestic demand for imports, Li told ICIS.

In March, China’s exports soared 35.8% year on year to $152.2bn and imports increased 27.3% to $152.1bn from a year ago, according to the data.

China imported 63.4m tonnes of crude oil in January to March, 11.9% higher than the same period last year. But polyester chips imports fell 28% year on year to 41,393 tonnes in the first quarter, according to China Customs.

($1 = €0.69)

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By: Judith Wang
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