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China sees 2010 trade surplus less than $190 billion

By Michelle Chen

MACAU (Reuters) - China's trade surplus for 2010 will be lower than the $190 billion recorded last year, Commerce Minister Chen Deming said on Saturday.

The country will "make vigorous efforts to expand imports," said Chen, attending the third triennial forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries.

China, which is edging past Japan to become the world's second-biggest economy, is likely to reach to a trade surplus of $180 billion this year, Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said earlier this month.

China's trade surplus continued to widen to $27 billion in October, the second highest monthly reading this year and well above September's $16.9 billion. October's figure took China's surplus for the first 10 months of the year to $148.6 billion, down 7.5 percent from the same period a year ago.

In the first nine months of the year, the United States' trade deficit with China swelled to $201.2 billion, compared with $165.9 billion in the same period of 2009, reviving concerns that huge global imbalances, blamed in part for the financial crisis, are reemerging.

China's 2009 trade surplus was down from $290 billion in 2008, Chen said.

(Writing by Daisy Ku; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)