Customs officers check European wine imported with the London-Yiwu cargo train at a warehouse of bonded logistics center in Yiwu City, east China's Zhejiang Province, May 3, 2017. Yiwu City, as the world's largest small commodity market and transfer hub, saw the total import and export value of 48.88 billion yuan (7.08 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2017, growing 23.72 percent year on year. Over 1.8 million kinds of commodities have been exported from Yiwu to 219 countries and regions in the world. (Xinhua/Tan Jin)
BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign trade surplus widened in April as import growth decline outpaced that of exports, customs data showed Monday.
Exports in yuan-denominated terms rose 14.3 percent year on year to 1.24 trillion yuan (179.8 billion U.S. dollars), down from the 22.3-percent increase in March.
Imports expanded 18.6 percent to 979.1 billion yuan, compared with a 26.3-percent increase a month ago.
That leaves a trade surplus of 262.3 billion yuan, up 0.6 percent year on year. The surplus widened from 164.3 billion yuan seen in March.
In the first four months, total trade volume added up to 8.42 trillion yuan, up 20.3 percent year on year.
While the April trade growth fell short of expectations, customs data reflected improved trade structure.
In the first four months, general trade expanded 21.6 percent year on year to 4.75 trillion yuan, accounting for 56.5 percent of the total trade volume.
Trade of private enterprises grew 21.7 percent to 3.17 trillion yuan in the first four months, accounting for 37.6 percent of the total, and 0.4 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
Despite rising protectionism and anti-globalization sentiment, China's imports and exports with major trade partners remained strong.
During the first four months, trade with the European Union gained 15.5 percent year on year to 1.24 trillion yuan, accounting for 14.8 percent of the total. Trade with the United States expanded 20.3 percent to 1.18 trillion yuan, making it China's second largest trade partner.
Customs data also showed that a leading indicator for China's exports rebounded from 40.2 to 40.7 month on month in April, signalling positive potential in exports.