China's exports show tentative signs of perking up as a trade surplus of US$880 million was registered in the first six months of this year following a deficit of $490 million in the first five months. China's total trade recorded a slight growth in the first six months of this year, rising 0.6 per cent year on year to $127.02 billion. In the January to June period, exports dropped 8.2 per cent year on year to $64.06 billion while imports rose 11.6 per cent year on year to $63.18 billion, leaving a trade surplus of $880 million, the China News Service reported yesterday. In the first quarter, China's exports dropped 8.7 per cent while imports jumped 23.2 per cent year on year. The official media did not give the June figures but, based on the official figures for the first five months, last month Beijing posted a trade surplus of $1.37 billion. Analysts said yesterday that it was still difficult to see a turnaround in China's dismal foreign trade situation. Export growth has been falling for the past 10 months following Beijing's decision to twice cut tax rebates on exports in 1995. Wu Yi, China's Foreign Trade Minister, said earlier this week that China's exporters were faced with their most difficult year in 1996. Foreign trade officials said privately that they would be happy to see a rough balance between imports and exports for this year, following a record trade surplus of $17.5 billion last year.