China's trade surplus narrowed in December to USD 49.6 billion from a record USD 54.5 billion in the previous month, government data showed Tuesday.
Exports stood at USD 227.5 billion in December, up 9.7 percent year-on-year, much higher than November's 4.7 percent expansion, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs. Imports fell 2.3 percent to USD 177.9 billion following November's 6.7 percent plunge.
For the whole year, China's exports rose 6.1 percent on the year to USD 2.34 trillion, while imports edged up 0.4 percent to USD 1.96 trillion, sending trade surplus to record USD 382.4 billion, up 47.7 percent. The European Union remained China's largest trading partner, followed by the US.
China's total exports and imports expanded 3.4 percent on the year to USD 4.30 trillion, far below the government's full-year target of 7.5 percent growth set for 2014.
"A slowing recovery of global economy, weak domestic investment and demand, and falling commodity prices are the major reasons behind the weak foreign trade growth in 2014,"state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted a bureau spokesman as saying.