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China's March exports surge 18.7%, imports down 1.7%

Updated: 2016-04-13 10:40

China's March exports surge 18.7%, imports down 1.7%

Containers pile up at Waigaoqiao Port in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - China's exports in yuan-denominated terms surged 18.7 percent year on year in March, while imports dipped 1.7 percent, customs data showed on Wednesday.

That led to a monthly trade surplus of 194.6 billion yuan ($29.9 billion), down from February's 209.5 billion yuan, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

Foreign trade in the first quarter was 5.9 percent lower than a year earlier at 5.2 trillion yuan, with exports down 4.2 percent and imports down 8.2 percent.

China's March exports surge 18.7%, imports down 1.7%

Trade surplus for the first quarter widened 8.5 percent from one year earlier to 810.2 billion yuan.

Exports to the European Union, China's biggest trade partner, dropped 1.4 percent year on year in the first three months of the year, the GAC data showed.

In the same period, exports to the United States, China's second-biggest trade partner, declined 3.4 percent and exports to the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, the third-largest trade partner, dipped 8.5 percent.

China's March exports surge 18.7%, imports down 1.7%

Related story: MOC survey finds foreign trade fundamentals unchanged from Xinhua

China's foreign trade fundamentals have not changed despite mounting downward pressures, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Thursday.

The yuan's fluctuation, rising cost, soft outbound demand and financing difficulty are the major challenges facing China's exports, Shen Danyang told a briefing, citing a nationwide survey conducted by the ministry.

The MOC dispatched 17 work groups to export-oriented provincial-level regions including Guangdong and Jiangsu from late February to early March to get first-hand information on the local exports situation.

According to the survey, regional foreign trade authorities believed that China could still maintain and even increase its share of the international market. Export enterprises said that export business must go through structural adjustment and upgrading.

China will continue to alleviate burdens on enterprises and encourage them to innovate to boost the country's exports, Shen said.

China's export slumped more than 20.6 percent year on year in February, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.


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