China expects auto exports to grow by 48.5 percent in this year compared to 2006, according to a government forecast.

Export volume this year is anticipated to be 510,000 units at a value of $5.6 billion, up from 343,500 units at $3.134 billion in 2006, according to a report released last week by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.

In the first half of 2007, China exported 241,000 vehicles worth $2.7 billion. The average price of autos shipped was $11,200, up 23 percent from last year.

Russia was the top destination for cars during the first half of the year, receiving 38,600 vehicles worth over $450 million. Kazakhstan was in second place at 6,445 vehicles and Iran came in third.

By region, Asia was the largest market for car exports, with 39 percent of total deliveries.