China trade surplus rises to $23 billion in April: Customs

BEIJING (AFP) - China's exports and imports rose marginally in April, official data showed Thursday, rebounding from sharp declines the month before, with the country reporting a second straight trade surplus.

Exports rose 0.9 per cent to US$188.54 billion (S$235.4 billion) year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs announced, while imports rose 0.8 per cent to US$170.09 billion, resulting in a surplus of US$18.45 billion (S$23 billion).

The figures come a month after Customs reported that China's trade volumes fell dramatically in March, which analysts blamed on the continued impact of fake reporting of exports seen in early 2013.

In March imports slumped 11.3 per cent year-on-year to US$162.4 billion while exports fell 6.6 per cent to US$170.1 billion, for a trade surplus of US$7.7 billion.

China had recorded an unexpected trade deficit of almost US$23 billion in February, which authorities blamed on the Lunar New Year holiday season. That result was China's first monthly deficit in 11 months.

China's economy grew 7.4 per cent in the first three months of 2014, weaker than the 7.7 per cent in October-December last year and the worst since a similar 7.4 per cent expansion in the third quarter of 2012.