|China's foreign trade deficit totals US$8.43bln in Q1|
China's foreign trade deficit totaled 8.43 billion US dollars in the first quarter of 2004 because of three successive months of import growth, more than 8.2 percentage points higher than exports, latest figures from the General Administration of Customs show.
The total foreign trade volume of the first quarter totaled 239.85 billion US dollars, up 38.2 percent over the previous year, 115.71 billion for exports and 124.14 billion for imports, up 34.1 percent and 42.3 percent respectively over the same period of 2003.
In March, China's foreign trade totaled a record 92.24 billion US dollars, up 42.8 percent on a yearly basis and with a deficit of 540 million US dollars.
The Administration attributed the sharp import increase to the country's sustained need for raw materials and energy.
The statistics show that general foreign trade also maintained rapid growth in the first quarter, totaling 105.1 billion US dollars, up 34.7 percent over the previous year. General trade exports and imports totaled 46.31 billion and 58.78 billion US dollars in the first three months, up 27.1 percent and 41.4 percent respectively year-on-year.
Exports of mechanical and electrical products totaled 63.66 billion US dollars, up 46.8 percent, covering 55 percent of China's foreign trade, up a slight 4.7 percentage points over 2003, according to Customs statistics.
Processing exports sped up and imports experienced steady growth in the first quarter. China exported and imported 111.12 billion USD in its processing trade for quarter one, up 39.3 percent.
Foreign-funded enterprises in China also enjoyed fast growth for their imports and exports in the first quarter. Bilateral trade between China and its major trade partners developed rapidly in this period. Japan, US and EU still remained the top three trade partners of China.