Chinese Exports Rise 8.2% YoY in April, Officials Warn of Unprecedented Challenges for Foreign Trade

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China posted a sizeable rise in exports in April as the country gradually emerges from a heavy lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on 7 May indicates that for the first four months of 2020 China’s imports and exports of goods totalled 9.07 trillion yuan, for a decline of 4.9% compared to the same period last year.

This decline marked a narrowing of 1.5 percentage points compared to the drop for the first quarter.

Exports totalled 4.74 trillion yuan, for a YoY decline of 6.4%, while imports totalled 4.33 trillion yuan, for a decline of 3.2%.

The trade surplus was 415.7 billion yuan, for a YoY decline of 30.4%.

In the month of April alone China’s import and exports totalled 2.5 trillion yuan, for a YoY drop of just 0.7%.

Chinese exports for April totalled 1.41 trillion yuan, for a YoY rise of 8.2%.

Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng (高峰) said that China’s foreign trade had faced extremely severe and complex circumstances since the start of the year.

Despite the slight narrowing of declines in April, foreign trade growth will continue to face considerable downwards pressure.

“The explosive growth of the pandemic overseas is still ongoing, and is a huge shock for the global economy and trade,” said Gao.

“Uncertain and unstable factors have markedly increased, and foreign trade growth faces unprecedented challenge and risk.”

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