China’s trade surplus came to a record US$262 billion in 2007, a year-on-year rise of 47.7%, the Financial Times reported. The year also saw the EU replace the US as China’s largest export market, with sales to the EU rising by 29.2% to America’s 14%. The value of EU exports to China is nearly double that of the US so America’s trade deficit with China is still much larger than that of Europe. However, there are signs that Beijing’s trade balance may be peaking. At the end of 2007, import growth exceeded export growth for three consecutive months – this hasn’t happened since the first quarter of 2004. The trend was confirmed in the December trade figures, which showed exports rose by 21.7% while imports increased by 25.7%.