CHINA bounced back to a trade surplus of US$5.3 billion (HK$41.12 billion) last year from a trade deficit of US$12.2 billion in 1993 - a turnaround boosted by Beijing's currency reforms and its fight to curb excessive demand. Analysts are generally confident China can chalk up another surplus this year, barring any unforeseen circumstances such as a Sino-US trade war. Foreign trade volume grew by almost 21 per cent last year to US$236.7 billion, according to Xinhua (the New China News Agency). Statistics from the General Administration of Customs showed China saw exports rise 32 per cent to US$121 billion and imports by 11 per cent to US$115.7 billion last year. The trade surplus was China's first in three years, as it strove to balance its foreign trade position. Foreign trade represented an increasingly important element in China's economy, accounting for 45 per cent of its Gross National Product last year, up from 38 per cent in 1993. Analysts cited reasons such as the yuan's devaluation at the beginning of last year. 'The unification of the yuan allows it to depreciate, which encourages state-owned enterprises to have more exports,' said Hongkong Bank China service research manager Benny Chiu.