China’s exports and imports fall amid coronavirus woes

Business News

People wearing face masks to protect against the new coronavirus stand outside of an Apple store in Beijing, Saturday, June 6, 2020. China’s capital is lowering its emergency response level to the second-lowest starting Saturday for the coronavirus pandemic. That will lift most restrictions on people traveling to Beijing from Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province, where the virus first appeared late last year. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING (AP) — China’s exports and imports both fell in May as the coronavirus and trade tensions with the U.S. weighed on demand at home and abroad.

Exports fell 3.3% compared to a year earlier to $206.8 billion and imports dropped 16.7% to $143.9 billion, the Chinese customs agency said Sunday.

The plunge in imports drove the country’s trade surplus up sharply to $62.9 billion. The surplus with the United States reached $27.9 billion and climbed $18.2 billion with the European Union.

The fall in exports came after a surprise 3.5% rise the previous month. Analysts were expecting the decline, attributing April’s rise to orders placed before virus restrictions hit overseas economies and predicting that American and European customers would also cancel other orders.

Chinese exports to the U.S. totaled $37.2 billion, about the same as the $35.5 billion in exports to the EU. However, its imports from the EU were $17.3 billion, nearly twice the $9.3 billion from the U.S.

Wintrust Business Lunch

More Wintrust Business Lunch

The Markets

More The Markets