China’s trade surplus fell 11% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2008 on the back of slowed exports to the US and higher commodity prices for imports. It is the first time the country’s quarterly trade surplus has decreased in three years, the Wall Street Journal reported. The US$41.42 billion trade surplus was down from US$46.44 billion for the same period in 2007, as imports rose 29% to US$264.48 billion and exports grew 21% to US$305.9 billion. Exports in March were up 31% but have been gradually slowing since the second half of 2007. Shipments to the US are up just 5.4% this year, while exports to Europe – where the yuan is weakening against the euro, making Chinese goods relatively cheaper – are up 24%.