China’s exports tumbled 25.4 percent from a year earlier in February in dollar terms, marking the biggest slide since May 2009, according to Customs data released Tuesday.
Imports, meanwhile, slid 13.8 percent, also coming in worse than what economists had expected.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected exports to fall by 12.5 percent and imports to drop 10.0 percent from a year earlier.
There was a trade surplus of US$32.59 billion in February, the figures released by the General Administration of Customs showed.
In yuan-denominated terms, exports fell 20.6 percent in February from a year earlier, while imports dropped 8.0 percent, leaving a trade surplus of 209.5 billion yuan (US$32.20 billion) for the month.
The trade figures might be distorted by the week-long Lunar New Year holiday last month, Reuters cited analysts as saying.
Many businesses close for the long holidays or sharply reduce operations.
Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said last month that he was confident that China’s trade conditions would stabilize and improve in 2016.
But authorities have acknowledged that they face a tough battle to keep the economy growing by at least 6.5 percent over the next five years.
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