Chinas March deficit shows currency not cause of trade imbalance: spokesman
China's trade deficit in March proves the exchange rate is not the decisive factor affecting trade balance, said Yao Jian, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, Saturday.
Yao's remarks came after China posted a trade deficit of 7.24 billion U.S. dollars in March, its first monthly trade deficit since May 2004.
"China's trade surplus continued to fall and China even posted a trade deficit in March under a basically stable renminbi exchange rate," Yao said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.
"This proved again that in an era of economic globalization, it is market supply and demand, and other factors that decide trade balance."
The country's exports grew by 24.3 percent from March last year to 112.11 billion U.S. dollars, while imports jumped 66 percent to 119.35 billion U.S. dollars.
Yao called for the removal of restrictions by some developed countries of certain high-tech products exports to China "as soon as possible" to facilitate bilateral trade balance.
Yao said the continuous improvement of the trade balance had created conditions for China to keep the renminbi's value "basically stable."
"China never pursued a trade surplus purposefully," Yao said. "We will actively increase imports with stable exports and promote a balanced, coordinated and sustained growth of external trade."
He said the March deficit stemmed mainly from surging imports and soaring prices, boosted by the growing domestic demand for crude oil, iron ore, copper and other commodities such as automobiles.
Yao estimated China's trade surplus for the year would fall sharply after it dropped by 100 billion U.S. dollars, or 34.2 percent year on year, to 196.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2009.