BEIJING – China’s exports fell 1.1 percent year-on-year in November, according to data released on Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The decline is largely attributed to an impact of an ongoing trade war with the United States on China’s foreign trade.
However, Chinese imports grew for the first time since April, with a 0.3 percent rise year-on-year.
China’s trade surplus also dropped to $38.73 billion in November, down from the figure of $42.91 billion registered in October.
The drop in exports was unexpected as analysts had projected a slight growth of 0.8 percent, especially due to the possibility of the upcoming Christmas festive season helping overseas sales of Chinese products.
The fall in trade surplus also defied projections as analysts had predicted that it would grow to $44.3 billion.
The drop in exports is the fourth for the year, while imports grew for the second time in 2019.
Li Kuiwen, the statistics director at China’s General Customs Administration, said Chinese economy had remained “stable” despite international trade and economic growth slowing down this year.
The Asian giant’s trade surplus with the US also dropped to $24.6 billion in November, down from $26.45 billion in October.
During the first 11 months of 2019, China’s total trade volume with the US declined 15.2 percent, with a fall of 12.5 percent in exports and 23.3 percent in imports.
Beijing and Washington have been negotiating the first phase of an agreement to end the trade war for almost a year and a-half but political differences between the two sides have complicated a possible resolution of the dispute.
The US approving consecutive laws to back the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests and the launch of another bill in the US Congress criticizing the repression of China’s Uyghur minority in the Xiniiang region has affected bilateral ties in recent weeks.