Chinese imports and exports experienced a decline during June 2016, the latest official government data has shown.
Exports fell 4.8 per cent in June compared to the year-ago period and were down 7.7 per cent for the first half of 2016, while imports dropped by 8.4 per cent compared to June 2015. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that exports would fall by 4.1 per cent, with imports expected to be down by only five per cent.
Key reasons for the weak performance included underwhelming global demand for Chinese products, with Britain's decision to leave the European Union casting doubt on the future stability of the bloc, which is one of China's biggest export markets.
Meanwhile, the drop in imports indicate the impact of recent measures to stimulate local growth may be fading, despite an encouraging performance in May.
Patrick Bennett, a strategist at CIBC Capital Markets, said: "The picture that emerges continues one of slow global demand and only moderate demand in China."