Graphics shows China's imports, exports rose 2.3 percent from July in August, according to the General Administration of Customs on Sept. 11, 2009.(Xinhua/Zhang Liyun)
BEIJING, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign trade figures continued to fall in August, but their downward rate slowed, the General Administration of Customs (GAOC) said Friday.
The total value of imports and exports for August was 191.7 billion U.S. dollars, a decrease of 20.6 percent compared with the same month last year, but a 2.3 percent increase from July.
Imports stood at 88 billion U.S. dollars, a decrease of 17 percent compared with the same month last year, an increase of 3.4percent from July.
Exports dropped 23.4 percent from a year earlier to 103.7 billion U.S. dollars but their value rose 1 percent from July.
From January to August, the country's imports and exports totalled 1.34 trillion U.S. dollars, down 22.4 percent compared with the same period last year.
Imports dropped 22.7 percent from a year earlier to 607.92 billion yuan, while exports declined 22.2 percent to 730.74 billion U.S. dollars.
Trade surplus stood at 122.82 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months, representing a decrease of 19 percent over the same period last year.
The European Union remained the leading trade partner of China, with a total trade value of 224.69 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months, a decrease of 20.7 percent over the same period last year.
Following the EU was the United States. Its trade value with China dropped 16.4 percent from a year earlier to 183.79 billion U.S. dollars.
The GAOC said exports of labor-intensive products witnessed a slower rate of decline compared with other goods categories.
In the first eight months, taking garment, textile and white ware sectors as examples, export values dropped 10.4 percent,14.9 percent, and 20.6 percent, respectively.
Zhuang Jian, a senior economist with Asian Development Bank, said the trade figures reflected China's foreign trade still being weak amid a slow down in international demand, but it had shown signs of recovery.
"As the country's economy is on a track of recovery boosted by stimulus measures, foreign trade is expected to improve gradually," said Zhuang.
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