Numbers released Sunday by China's General Administration of Customs showed the country would post exports worth $1.2 trillion for 2009, while Germany is expected to register a figure of $1.18 trillion, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
China's year-end comes after its monthly export figure for December 2009 came in at $130.7 billion, up 17.7 percent from the year-earlier figure and the first monthly rise since November 2008, when sluggish overseas demand first began to take hold.
Chinese analysts, however, didn't lavish too much praise on the accomplishment.
Zhao Jinping, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, told Xinhua: "The prospect that China will overtake Germany to become top global exporter only means that China has indeed become a large trading country in terms of exporting scale.
"But in terms of the structure of exports, technological innovation and industry competitiveness, China is far from being eligible for the title of 'trade power.'"