China's trade surplus hit US$18.8 billion in August, a fourth consecutive monthly record. The total for the first eight months now stands at US$95.7 billion, a 59% rise on the same period in 2005, and is comfortably on course to pass the 2005 full year figure of US$101.9 billion. Exports rose 32.8% in August from a year ago to US$90.8 billion dollars, while imports were up 24.6% to US$72 billion. Exports are likely to accelerate towards the end of the year as shipments rise going into the Christmas period. The strong figures look set to prompt renewed calls from Washington for China to further revalue its currency, the yuan having risen less than 4% against the dollar since it was unpegged from the US currency in July 2005.