Imports shrank by 12.5 percent to USD 132.42 billion, compared to a 8.4 percent decrease in June, while markets expected a 7.0 percent fall. It was the 21st straight month of contraction and the fastest fall since February, as a result of declining commodity prices and weak demand.
In yuan-denominated terms, sales grew by 2.9 percent from a year ago, following a 1.3 percent rise in June, while inbound shipments fell 5.7 percent, compared to a 2.3 percent decline in the preceding month.
In June 2016, the country registered a USD 46.60 billion trade surplus.
Considering the first seven months of 2016, total trade in USD decreased by 6.7 percent from a year-earlier. Exports dropped by 7.4 percent as sales were down to Hong Kong (-4.8 percent), Japan (-6.1 percent), South Korea (-8.7 percent), Taiwan (-11.4 percent), ASEAN countries (-6.4 percent), the EU countries (-4.4 percent), the US (-9.9 percent), South Africa (-23.4 percent), Australia (-7.4 percent) and New Zealand (-7.2 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments rose to India (+1.8 percent) and Russia (+10.0 percent). Imports slumped 10.5 percent, mainly due to lower commodity prices. In volume terms, inbound shipments declined for: fresh, dried fruits & nuts (-9.8 percent), cereal & cereal flour (-29.9 percent), iron ore & concentrates (-20.2 percent), natural gas (-20.5 percent), plastics in primary forms (-17.6 percent) and natural & synthetic rubber (-6.0 percent). In contrast, purchases were higher for edible oil (+3.8 percent), copper ore & concentrates (+8.1 percent), coal & ignite (+36.1 percent), crude (+6.7 percent), refined oil (+12.1 percent), mineral fertiliser (+16.0 percent) and pharmaceuticals (+19.6 percent).