BizChina

China's march exports data shows that no matter what step the Chinese government are trying to take, the global crisis just continutes and far from its bottom.

China's exports fell for the fifth month in a row to $90.29 billion in March, down 17.1 percent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.

 

In February, the country's exports plummeted 25.7 percent year-on-year, the worst decline in more than a decade.

Imports slumped 25.1 percent year-on-year last month to $71.73 billion, compared with a 24.1-percent decline in February.

Total import and export value was $162.02 billion last month, down 20.9 percent year-on-year.

Trade surplus rose to $18.56 billion, up 41.2 percent from a year earlier. This was compared with $4.84 billion in February.

March exports rose 32.8 percent from February while imports grew 14 percent month-on-month. This indicated a sign of improvement in the country's foreign trade, the customs agency said.

"The narrowing in decline offers some comfort," said Zhang Yansheng, director of the foreign economic research institution with the National Development and Reform Commission, but this was a result of the government's support policies instead of an improvement in external demand.

Last month, China raised the export rebate on 3,800 items, including textiles and garments, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and petrochemicals. It was the sixth increase since last August when the government decided to raise refunds in an attempt to tackle slowing exports amid the global financial crisis.

The World Trade Organization has predicted a 9-percent decline in global trade this year, the sharpest drop since World War II.

China's top three trade partners -- the European Union, the United States and Japan -- have all entered recession, which would put pressure on foreign trade, analysts said.

Trade between China and the EU, the country's largest trade partner, totaled $26.45 billion last month, down 19.3 percent from a year earlier.

Trade with the United States fell 12.6 percent year on year to $22.65 billion. That with Japan, China's third largest trade partner, dropped 20.5 percent to $17.52 billion.

Shrinking external demand, the yuan's appreciation, trade protectionism and financing difficulties for small and medium-sized enterprises all bore negative impacts on the country's foreign trade, said Long Guoqiang, deputy director of research department of foreign economic relations at the Development Research Center of the State Council.

A practical target for China was to make sure its exports growth would not fall below the global average this year, Long said.