China's exports stabilise in April as yuan depreciates

China's exports stabilised in April as the value of the yuan decreased, while imports continued to decline.
China's exports stabilised in April as the value of the yuan decreased, while imports continued to decline. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (Bloomberg) - China's exports stabilized in April as the value of the currency decreased, while imports continued to decline. Overseas shipments rose 4.1 per cent in yuan terms from a year earlier while falling 1.8 per cent in US dollar terms, data showed Sunday.

Imports extended a streak of declines to 18 months, and slumped 10.9 per cent in US dollar terms to leave a trade surplus of US$45.6 billion.

"China's exports stayed positive in April, but with gains flattered by yuan depreciation," Bloomberg Intelligence economists Tom Orlik and Fielding Chen wrote in a note.

"Policy makers will likely remain in wait-and-see mode before deciding on further stimulus."

April's exports follow a March surge in both currencies, which may have been exaggerated by seasonal effects after the Lunar New Year holiday.

The absence of a sustained trade rebound adds to pressure for more government stimulus to boost growth.

Cumulative data for the year showed exports are weakening. Shipments declined 2.1 per cent in yuan terms in January to April versus the same period a year earlier, while slumping 7.6 per cent in US dollar terms, the China customs administration reported Sunday.