China likely to have become the world's largest trader in 2013
China may have surpassed the United States to become the world's largest trader in 2013 as its export and import volume between January and November significantly exceeded that of the US, not a few observers and scholars believed.
They thought China was to take the throne as the world's largest economy from the US in 2012 but due to different methods of calculation, China's trade figure was ruled $15.64 billion lower than the US.
Since then China has become the biggest trading partner to 126 countries in the world and the second biggest trading partner to 79 countries. It has also been the world's largest exporter for four consecutive years.
Between January and November 2013, the total value of China's exports and imports reached $3.77 trillion, according to the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China and Shanghai's China Business News. While the US Department of Commerce's figure showed the US trade over the first ten months in 2013 reached $3.26 trillion.
Based on previous experience and growth, the total export volume of China's trade last year is estimated to have reached $4.14 trillion, which will have been the first time the country's trade volume breaches the $4 trillion benchmark.
The US would have to have exported and imported US$0.88 trillion in November and December to catch up with China's figure, which many think impossible.
The exact trade figures for China are scheduled to be announced next week and those of the US in February.
If China were to win the world's largest trader title from the US, it would certainly elevate China's status in the world economy but may also trigger a trade competition between the US and China, said Tu Xinquan from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
The country's trade surplus in 2013 is expected to have exceeded $240 billion, which will be the highest recorded since the 2008 financial crisis. The US may use trade barriers and demand renminbi appreciation to regain its title in response.
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