BEIJING — China’s imports grew faster than exports in the first quarter, resulting in a 35.7-percent shrinking of trade surplus, customs data showed on April 13.
Exports in yuan-denominated terms rose 14.8 percent year on year in the first quarter, while imports increased 31.1 percent.
Foreign trade volume reached 6.2 trillion yuan (about $902.47 billion) in the first quarter, up 21.8 percent year on year, with a surplus of 454.94 billion yuan.
Customs data reflected an improved structure of trade modes. In the first quarter, the volume of general trade grew 23.2 percent to 3.49 trillion yuan, taking up 56.2 percent of the total volume of foreign trade, 0.6 percentage points higher than the same period of last year.
Trade with some countries along the “the Belt and Road” has registered growth. In the first quarter, China’s trade with Russia, Pakistan, Poland, Kazakhstan and India rose by 37 percent, 18.7 percent, 19 percent, 69.3 percent and 27.7 percent respectively.
During the first three months, trade with the European Union gained 16.9 percent year on year. Trade with the United States and ASEAN increased 21.3 percent and 25 percent, respectively, together accounting for 41.4 percent of foreign trade.
Private enterprises took a larger share of foreign trade. Trade of private enterprises grew 22.5 percent to 2.28 trillion yuan, accounting for 36.8 percent of the country’s total foreign trade volume, 0.2 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
In a breakdown of products, electro-mechanical products and traditional labor-intensive products remained the major export goods.
Meanwhile, imports of primary commodities such as iron ore and crude oil continued to grow in both volume and price.