China’s exports declined 8.9% year-on-year in July, compared with a 2.1% gain in June. The number came in way below market expectations of a 0.3% contraction.
Imports fell 8.6% year-on-year in July, from a 6.7% decline in the previous month, as commodity prices continued to weigh on imports growth.
It resulted in a trade surplus of RMB263 billion (US$43 billion) in July, slightly below RMB284.2 billion (US$46.5 billion) recorded in June.
In the first seven months, exports contracted 0.9% year-on-year, while imports fell sharply by 14.6%.
"As global growth moderates and commodity prices remain depressed, it is unlikely to see China’s trade growth pick up significantly in the remainder of the year," says a research report by ANZ.
The RMB’s nominal effective exchange rate has risen by 13.5% since June 2014, which further eroded China’s export competitiveness, says the report.