China’s export growth tumbled in April after Shanghai and other industrial cities were shut down to fight virus outbreaks. Exports rose 3.7 per cent over a year earlier to USD 273.6 billion, down sharply from March’s 15.7 per cent growth, customs data showed Monday. Reflecting weak Chinese demand, imports crept up 0.7 per cent to USD 222.5 billion, in line with the previous month’s equally weak growth below 1 per cent.
The data confirmed fears the ruling Communist Party’s “zero-tolerance” strategy that shut most businesses in Shanghai and other industrial centers would depress trade and activity in autos, electronics and other industries.
Exports to the United States rose 9.5 per cent to USD 46 billion despite persisting tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Imports of American goods increased 0.9 per cent to USD 13.8 billion.
China’s global trade surplus widened by 19.4 per cent to USD 51.1 billion while the politically volatile surplus with the United States contracted by 65 per cent to USD 9.8 billion.