The decline in both Chinese exports and imports during the month of March from a year earlier helped the trade surplus widen, providing hopes in markets that the world’s second-biggest economy may be recovering from the coronavirus economic crisis.
The data of the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics released on Tuesday showed a 6.6% drop in foreign shipments in March from a year earlier, compared to a decrease by 17.2% in January and February.
The data also showed a 0.9 percent drop in imports from the previous year, which also fell to 9.5 percent despite a 4% drop in imports in the first two months of the year.
The better picture of imports partly reflects outstanding shipments at clearance ports and compensatory demand as the authorities’ easing restrictions.
However, domestic consumption was far from strong with fall major imports such as iron ore in March underscored broad economic pressures.
The state also recorded a trade surplus of $19.9 billion for the month, compared to a deficit of $7.1 billion in January and February.
"With the spread of Coved 19 disease around the world, the global economy is under mounting pressure," said Li Kuiwin, spokesman for the Chinese Customs Administration.
“Uncertainty is on the rise, and China's foreign trade is facing greater difficulties," he added.
On the other hand, although the data were not as bad as it was feared, export and economic growth prospects for the world's second largest economy remain bleak due to the wider outbreak of Covid-19 and business disruption around the world.
Regarding Covid-19 latest updates, more than 1,930,000 infected cases were reported, while the deaths toll rose to 119,806.
people's bank of China on Tuesday set the exchange rate of the yuan against the
U.S. dollar at 7.0406, while the bank set the exchange rate yesterday at