China exports, imports drop in April
China’s exports and imports fell more than expected in April, customs data showed on Sunday, the latest sign of weakness in the world’s second largest economy. The export growth in April was milder than the 18.7 per cent increase in March, while imports fell at a faster pace compared with the 1.7 per cent fall in the previous month, General Administration of Customs said.
Foreign trade edged down 0.3 per cent year on year to 1.95 trillion yuan last month and that for the first four months combined slipped 4.4 per cent to 7.17 trillion yuan.
In the January-April period, exports dropped 2.1 per cent year on year while imports went down 7.5 per cent, leading to a trade surplus of 1.11 trillion yuan, widening 16.5 per cent from a year earlier.
The leading index for the country’s exports rose 2.2 points to 33.8 in April, with sub-indices for new export orders and managers’ confidence both up from March, signalling smaller pressure on export growth in the second quarter, the GAC said.
Exports to the European Union, China’s largest trade partner, climbed 1.3 per cent year on year in the first four months, state-run Xinhua quoted the GAC data as showing.
In the same period, exports to the US and the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, China’s second- and third-largest trade partners, both declined 3.5 per cent. Imports of iron ore, crude oil and copper posted strong increase in the four months -- up 6.1 per cent, 11.8 per cent and 23.1 per cent, respectively. But imports of coal, steel and refined oil fell.