BEIJING, Aug 10, 2010 (AFP)
China’s export growth slowed in July from the previous month, government data showed Tuesday, which could deter policymakers from letting the yuan appreciate against the dollar.
The nation’s exports reached 145.52 billion dollars last month, up 38.1 percent from the same period a year ago, customs authorities said in a statement.
The pace of growth was much slower than in June, when exports were up 43.9 percent as steelmakers and other raw material producers accelerated shipments before the government scrapped tax rebates on some products last month.
The slowdown in exports could encourage policymakers to tighten their grip on the yuan exchange rate, as a stronger currency will make Chinese exports more expensive and potentially hurt the key sector.
However China’s trade surplus widened to 28.7 billion dollars in July, up from 20.02 billion dollars in June, the data showed.
Imports gained 22.7 percent year-on-year to 116.79 billion dollars in July, marking a sharp slowdown in the pace of growth from June, when imports rose 34.1 percent.
Beijing pledged in mid-June to let the yuan exchange rate trade more freely against the dollar, though it ruled out sharp fluctuations in the value of the currency.
Since the announcement, the yuan has gained less than one percent against the greenback, angering US lawmakers and other critics who claim the currency is undervalued by as much as 40 percent, giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage.