In April, exports declined by 1.8 percent year-on-year to USD172.77 billion, reversing from a 11.5 percent growth in the preceding month and missing market consensus of a 0.1 percent drop. Imports dropped by 10.9 percent to USD127.20 billion while markets expected a 5.0 percent fall. It is the 18th straight month of contraction, as a result of declining commodity prices and weak demand. In March 2016, the country registered a USD29.86 billion trade surplus.
From January to April 2016, exports dropped by 7.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. Outbound shipments declined for: Chinese herbal and medicine (-5.5 percent), coke and semi-coke (-19.0 percent), crude (-62.7 percent), refined oil (-4.9 percent), mineral fertilizer (-36.7 percent), footwear (-3.0 percent), ceramic (-9.4 percent), precious metals (-8.7 percent), steel (-20.2 percent), unwrought aluminium and aluminium (-15.4 percent), handheld wireless phone & its parts (-8.4 percent), automatic data processing equipment and parts (-9.3 percent), shipping (-20.4 percent), LCD panel (-12.2 percent), furniture & parts (-3.9 percent) and lamps, lighting fixture (-0.9 percent). In contrast, Sales rose for: rice (+12.5 percent), coal & ignite (+37.3 percent), plastics (+7.4 percent), integrated circuit (+26.2 percent) and toys (+20.0 percent). Exports were down to: Hong Kong (-4.7 percent), Japan (-7.0 percent), South Korea (-8.7 percent), Taiwan (-4.7 percent), the ASEAN countries (-8.9 percent), the EU countries (-4.4 percent), South Africa (-26.0 percent), the US (-8.9 percent), Australia (-4.3 percent) and New Zealand (-8.0 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments rose to India (+0.5 percent) and Russia (+4.4 percent).
Imports decreased by 12.8 percent year-on-year. Purchases from most of the country's trading partners declined except Hong Kong. Those from India fell by 19.4 percent, followed by Japan (-7.9 percent), South Korea (-12.5 percent), Taiwan (-10.2 percent), the ASEAN countries (-8.1 percent) and the EU countries (-6.4 percent). Purchases also dropped from the US (-13.5 percent), Russia (-2.8 percent), South Africa (-20.8 percent) and Australia (-26.1 percent). In contrast, imports rose from Hong Kong (+120.3 percent), Vietnam (+14.3 percent) and Brazil (+13.7 percent).