Import, export hit 1 Tln USD
WATCH VIDEOSource: CCTV.com
Chinese imports and exports hit a total value of just-over 1 trillion US dollars for the first five months of the year. That's a more than 26 percent rise from the same period in 2007. But, as Yang Fei explains, the type of exports is shifting from low cost basic goods to high value-added products boasting the very latest in technology.
From January to May, China's exports amounted to 545 billion US dollars, while imports were slightly lower, at 467 billion US dollars. Taken together, that's still a big rise from the same period a year earlier.
But the big change is in the type of goods that are leaving the country. Chinese exports are no longer cheap items, but are instead increasingly likely to boast some of the latest in technology. Customs authorities say machinery and electrical goods made up 58.8 percent of all exports in the first five months. In contrast, there have been falls in export volumes for coke, crude oil and steel products.
Li Jian, Researcher of Foreign Trade Dept., Ministry of Commerce, said, "The figure shows that China's global market share has not fallen significantly. But made-in China products are entering a crucial transition period, with technology likely to play a much bigger role."
As an example, Shifeng Group, the largest agricultural vehicle maker in China, has received a 700-million-US-dollar order for its super radial tires. The product boasts up to eight different patents, breaking a long-standing monopoly held by European and American giants.
Liu Chengqiang, President of Shifeng Group, said, "The cost of a super tire is 560,000 yuan, and its added value is 100 times that of an ordinary agricultural vehicle, which is only desirable because of its low cost."
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce is predicting a continued slow down in the growth of exports, with imports likely to increase at a faster pace. It says this is largely due to weaker international demand, appreciation in the yuan and more expensive raw materials.
Garment exports slow from January to May
WATCH VIDEOSource: CCTV.com
Textile export growth for the first five months of the year has gone up from a year ago. But export growth of completed garments have in fact dropped compared to rates for the same period in 2007. Customs authorities say that between January and May, export growth for textiles was up 26.3 percent from the same period last year.
This is compared to export growth figures for garments which has fallen a full 9 percentage points from 2007. In fact for May alone, garment exports rose by a record-low rate of 1.08 percent. Industry insiders think the slowdown in garment exports could reflect a whole string of factors as we saw in the preceding report these could be a weaker demand abroad, fast appreciation of China's currency and higher production costs.