BEIJING, 13th January, 2017 (WAM)– China’s foreign trade stabilised and returned to growth in the fourth quarter last year, with the value of total foreign trade rising 3.8 percent in the three-month period, data from the General Administration of Customs, GAC, showed Friday, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, China’s exports were up 0.3 percent from a year ago, while imports climbed 8.7 percent, compared with a 0.3-percent decrease in exports and a 2.3-percent rise in imports in the third quarter, said GAC spokesperson Huang Songping.

The country’s exports in yuan-denominated terms dropped 2 percent to 13.84 trillion yuan, or about US$2 trillion, year-on-year in 2016, while imports rose 0.6 percent from the 2015 level to 10.49 trillion yuan.

The total export and import value decreased 0.9 percent year on year to 24.33 trillion yuan, Huang said in statement carried by the agency.

In 2015, the country’s total export and import values decreased 7 percent year on year to 24.59 trillion yuan.

China’s foreign trade surplus narrowed to 3.35 trillion yuan in 2016, down 9.1 percent from a year earlier, according to GAC data.

Huang attributed the trade recovery to supportive policies, a rebound in external demand and a stabilising domestic economy.

Boosted by growing domestic demand, crude oil imports in 2016 rose 13.6 percent to 381 million tonnes while iron ore imports climbed 7.5 percent to 1.024 billion tonnes, the GAC reported.

Trade with countries along the Belt and Road (the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road) witnessed growth, Huang said.

China’s exports to Pakistan, Russia and India rose 11 percent, 14.1 percent and 6.5 percent year on year.

WAM/MMYS