Price declines impact China's trade with oilexporters

BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The plunge in oil prices dragged down China's trade with Saudi Arabia and Iran last year, but growth potentials remain to be exploited, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Wednesday.

In thefirst 11 months of 2015, China's total trade with Saudi Arabia dropped 25.2 percent year on year to 47.66 billion U.S. dollars while that with Iran slumped 34.6 percentto 31.09 billion U.S. dollars, MOC spokesperson Shen Danyang said at a press conference.

The plungewas mainly due to shrinking imports values, which was partly dragged down by slumping oil prices. While China's exports to Saudi Arabia during the same period actually increased 6.4 percent to 19.75 billion U.S. dollars, imports into China fell 38.2 percent to 27.91 billion U.S. dollars.

Imports from Iran shrank 41.6 percent to 14.91 billion U.S. dollars.

Shen attributed the slump in trade with Iran to the slowdown of the global economy and the continuing weakness in crude oil prices.

Saudi Arabia is the top source of crude oil for China. In the first 11 months, China imported 46.09 million tonnes of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, or 15 percent of the total imported globally. The amount imported actually increased 2.08 percent from a year earlier.

Shen said the two countries are also exploring cooperation in fields other than oil such as finance, new energy, and space technology.

Iran, also a big oil exporter, contributed to 8 percent of total crude oil imports into China in the first 11 months.

While total trade declined last year, Shen said he sees huge potential in China-Iran trade cooperation based on the friendly and mutually beneficial relationship.

China's trade with Egypt remained strong in 2015. In the first 11months, exports to Egypt rose 12.2 percent to 10.75 billion U.S dollars while total trade volume grew 10.4 percent to 11.64 billion.


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