In September, exports declined by 10.0 percent from a year earlier to USD 184.51 billion, following a 2.8 percent drop in the preceding month and more than market estimates of a 3.0 percent fall.
Imports unexpectedly decreased by 1.9 percent to USD 142.52 billion, compared to a 1.5 percent rise in August while market consensus of a 1.0 percent growth.
In yuan-denominated terms, sales fell 5.6 percent from a year ago, following a 5.9 percent increase in August. Inbound shipments went up 2.2 percent, compared to a 10.8 percent growth in the preceding month.
In August 2016, the country registered a USD 52.05 billion trade surplus.
Considering the first nine months of 2016, total trade in USD decreased by 7.8 percent from a year-earlier. Exports dropped by 7.5 percent. Sales were down to Hong Kong (-7.7 percent), Japan (-5.5 percent), South Korea (-7.3 percent), Taiwan (-13.0 percent), ASEAN countries (-7.8 percent), the EU countries (-4.3 percent), South Africa (-22.7 percent), Brazil (-28.3 percent), the US (-7.8 percent), Australia (-6.9 percent), New Zealand (-3.3 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments rose to India (+1.3 percent) and Russia (+7.1 percent). Imports dropped by 8.2 percent, mainly due to lower commodity prices. In volume terms, inbound shipments declined for: fresh, dried fruits & nuts (-9.4 percent), cereal & cereal flour (-30.6 percent), edible oil (-19.9 percent), refined oil (-7.1 percent), mineral fertiliser (-25.1 percent) and plastics in primary forms (-4.6 percent). In contrast, purchases were higher for soy (+2.6 percent), iron ore & concentrates (+9.1 percent), copper ore & concentrates (+31.9 percent), coal & ignite (+15.2 percent), crude (+14.0 percent), natural gas (+22.7 percent), pharmaceuticals (+16.6 percent) and natural rubber (+26.2 percent).