BEIJING, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The United States replaced the European Union in 2012 as the No. 1 market for Chinese exports, buying $319.4 billion of goods through November, Beijing said.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said U.S. purchases during the period represented an 8.2 percent increase from the same period of 2011. During the same period, China imported $119.2 billion of U.S. goods, up 8.1 percent year-on-year.
The total two-way volume of trade between China and the United States of $438.62 billion gave China a trade surplus of more than $200 billion in the 11 months of 2012. That was up sharply from its surplus of $148.3 billion a year ago.
Chinese exports to the European Union declined 4.1 percent in the same 11-month period to $302.3 billion, China Daily reported.
At the same time, China's trade with Japan dropped by 2.9 percent.
China's total foreign trade in the first 11 months of 2012 rose 5.8 percent year-on-year to $3.5 trillion, much less than the government's target of 10 percent.
One analyst told China Daily U.S.-China trade will continue to increase next year as the U.S. economy is recovering.