The Strategist

Fall in Chinese exports and imports in March slows down significantly

04/15/2020 - 03:53

Fall in Chinese exports and imports slowed significantly in March, the PRC Main Customs Administration said.

Angus Fraser
Angus Fraser
Exports in dollar terms decreased in March by 6.6% year on year. Analysts expected a drop of 14%, Trading Economics notes.

Imports decreased by 0.9% with a forecast of a decline of 9.5%.

In January-February, the volume of Chinese exports collapsed by 17.2%, imports - by 4%.

The surplus of the balance of foreign trade of China in March amounted to $ 19.9 billion (forecast - $ 18.55 billion). In January-February, a trade deficit of $ 7.09 billion was noted.

"The pressure on the world economy is growing, uncertainty is rising," the administration said in a statement. "China's foreign trade is facing serious difficulties."

The fall in exports in RMB compared to the first two months of this year amounted to 3.5%, the export volume was fixed at 1.3 trillion yuan ($ 183 billion).

Deliveries to the United States declined in the first three months of 2020 by 23.6% in annual terms, to 476.6 billion, said the administration’s spokesman. Imports from the States in January-March decreased by 1.3%, to 191.4 billion yuan.

In general, the volume of Chinese exports in the first quarter decreased by 11.4% compared to the same period last year - up to 3.3 trillion yuan, he added. Imports decreased by 0.7%, to 3.2 trillion yuan.

China increased oil imports in volume terms in the first quarter by 5% in annual terms, natural gas - by 1.8%, iron ore - by 1.3%. Soybean purchases jumped 6.2% to 17.8 million tons.