BEIJING -- Trade between China and the European Union (EU) totaled 35.6 billion euros ($49.4 billion) in July, allowing China to overtake the United States as the EU's largest trade partner, the Ministry of Commerce said, citing the latest statistics from Eurostat.
The overall value of China-EU trade in July exceeded that of the EU and the United States by 800 million euros, accounting for 13.4 percent of the region's total imports and exports, according to data released by the EU's statistics office.
However, bilateral trade shrank for a second consecutive month in July, falling 0.8 percent from the same period last year.
Meanwhile, China remained the EU's second largest export market. EU exports to China totaled 11.7 billion euros in July, up 12.3 percent year-on-year, which is higher than EU's total export growth rate of 4.1 percent.
The EU imported 23.9 billion euros in Chinese goods, down 6.2 percent from the previous year. But China still held the top spot as the region's import source, making up 17.4 percent of the EU's total imports.
The EU reported a 12.2-billion-euro trade deficit with China in July