BEIJING (AFP) -China’s trade surplus shrank in September as exports and imports slowed sharply, official data showed Wednesday, but the decline was unlikely to ease pressure on Beijing for a stronger currency.
untry’s trade surplus fell to 16.88 billion dollars in September compared with 20.03 billion dollars in August, and was the lowest surplus in five months.
The figures come as China set the yuan’s central parity rate -- the middle of the currency’s allowed trading band -- at 6.6693 to the dollar, the strongest rate since a June pledge for limited currency reform.
But the data is unlikely to calm angry US and European lawmakers, who are demanding that China let the yuan appreciate at a faster pace against the dollar.
“I think the pressure is still going to be there,” Brian Jackson, a Hong Kong-based senior strategist at Royal Bank of Canada, told AFP.
“I think the fact that their exports are still very strong suggests that there’s plenty of scope for them to do more on the currency.”Some critics claim the yuan is undervalued by as much as 40 percent, giving Chinese exporters an unfair trade advantage by making their shipments artificially cheap.