China’s trade surplus came to US$16.7 billion in April, up from US$13.4 billion in March and US$8.6 billion in February, AFP reported. The customs bureau didn’t reveal the percentage change in April’s trade surplus compared to last year, but the figure is thought to be more or less the same as in April 2007. Exports rose 21.8% year-on-year to US$118.7 billion while imports increased 26.3% to US$102 billion. The trade surplus for the first four months of 2008 was US$58 billion, with exports up 21.5% year-on-year to US$424.6 billion and imports up 27.9% to US$366.6 billion. China’s large trade surplus is often cited as grounds for Beijing to allow the yuan to rise at a faster pace against the US dollar. Trade partners claim China’s currency is kept at an artificially low level in order to make the country’s exports more price-competitive.