The 98th China Export Commodities Fair closed on Sunday in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, with the value of deals struck growing by a slight 0.7 percent.
The fair attracted some 177,000 businessmen from 210 countries and regions, 9.3 percent less than at the last fair half a year ago. Yet 29.43 billion US dollars worth of deals were signed, up 0.7 percent.
The participants included 74 multinational retailers such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour.
The top five purchasers were China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the United States, China's Taiwan Province,Japan and the Republic of Korea.
The organizers attributed the decrease in the number of participants to a series of economic changes across the world in the past half year, including the global oil price hikes, appreciation of the Chinese currency and increasing trade friction between China and other countries, as well as the month of fast of Moslems and the earthquake in Kashmir.
Electrical and mechanical products remained as the major commodities traded at the fair, with 12.25 billion US dollars worth of deals signed, accounting for almost 41.6 percent of the total trade volume.
The next to come were light industrial products, clothing and textiles.
Privately-owned companies became more active in the fair. They signed 13.54 billion US dollars worth of export deals, accounting for 46 percent of the total trade volume and increasing by 130 percent from the last fair.
State-owned companies signed 12.07 billion US dollars worth of deals, accounting for 41 percent of the total and dropping by 9.2 percent.
The Chinese Export Commodities Fair, a biannual event launched in 1957, is dubbed the bellwether of the country's foreign trade. Each fair consists of two phases: manufactured goods, textile and garments, foodstuffs and medicine for the first phase, and souvenirs, gifts and commodities for daily use for the second phase.