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Cablegate: Guangdong Province Trade Numbers Show Some Improvement

VZCZCXRO8788
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHGZ #0686 3510855
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170855Z DEC 09
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1185
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE 0384
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0210
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC 0120
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC 0357
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC 0353

UNCLAS GUANGZHOU 000686

SIPDIS

Dept for EAP/CM, EEB/TPP and INR/EAP
State pass USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON PREL EINV CH
SUBJECT: GUANGDONG PROVINCE TRADE NUMBERS SHOW SOME IMPROVEMENT

REF: A) GUANGZHOU 627, B) GUANGHOU 290

1. (U) According to Guangdong Customs, November bilateral trade
numbers snapped a 12-month string of declines, with total trade
volume between the United States and Guangdong Province growing 0.5%
to USD 7.27 billion, year-on-year. Of that number, U.S. imports
accounted for USD 1.14 billion, an increase of 26.1%, while
Guangdong exports decreased 3.2% to USD 6.13 billion, year-on-year.

2. (U) Year-to-date, total U.S.-GD trade volume reached
USD 72.97 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 13.1%. U.S.-GD trade
shrank less than EU-GD and Japan-GD trade during the same period,
which declined 17% and 15.7%, respectively, and U.S.-GD trade
accounted for 13.5% of the total import-export volume for the
province.

3. (U) Guangdong exports to the United States totaled USD 62.25
billion in the first 11 months of 2009, representing a year-on-year
decrease of 13.1%, and American imports were USD 10.73 billion
during the same period, a decrease of 13.4%. The Guangdong-based
processing trade, frequently referred to as production of
labor-intensive products, accounted for 66.5% of the total U.S.-GD
trade volume, a decline of 16.5%. This decline slowed in November,
which may show that demand for Guangdong's low-cost consumer
products is approaching a bottom. Textile exports to the U.S. grew
by 16% during the same period. According to Guangdong Customs, the
province imported USD 3.35 billion in hi-tech products from the
United States, approximately 31.2% of total U.S. imports and a
decrease of 17.5% year-on-year.

4. (U) According to local media reports on the Guangdong Customs
November trade figures, improved trade numbers show that U.S. demand
is gradually returning and will form the basis for recovery of
U.S.-China trade. However, local media caution that China exports
in general and Guangdong exports in particular face trade
protectionism and high unemployment rates in America, and the
appreciation of China's currency as major obstacles to full
"recovery."

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