China saw another month of slow international trade performance in May 2016, with exports down by 4.1 per cent compared to May 2015.
This margin was much greater than the 1.8 per cent fall seen in April, which reflects the ongoing weakness of global demand, particularly for technology products. The Asian nation's trade with the US and Europe was highlighted as particularly weak.
Meanwhile, imports for the month fell by 0.4 per cent, which was lower than expected and considerably better than the 10.9 per cent drop for April. This improvement was largely attributed to rising commodity prices.
It means China's annual exports for the first five months of the year were 7.3 per cent lower than during the corresponding period of 2015, while imports have dropped by 10.3 per cent. Its trade surplus widened to $49.98 billion in May from $45.56 billion in April.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, said: "While we don't anticipate much more of a slowdown in global growth given that the worst is probably over for many emerging markets, we don't foresee a significant pick-up either."