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China's exports drop in January as challenges flow into new year

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China's exports dropped in January, while imports also fell, adding to economic challenges confronting the world's biggest trading nation.

[BEIJING] China's exports dropped in January, while imports also fell, adding to economic challenges confronting the world's biggest trading nation.

Overseas shipments declined 6.6 per cent in January in yuan terms from a year earlier, the customs administration said on Monday, compared with a 2.3 per cent increase in December. Imports extended a stretch of declines to 15 months, falling 14.4 per cent, leaving a trade surplus of 406.2 billion yuan (S$87.2 billion).

The decrease suggests the yuan's depreciation since August has yet to result in a sustained boost to the competitiveness of China's factories.

"Business sentiment in both US and Europe lost some steam recently," UBS Group AG economists led by Zhang Ning wrote in a note before the data release.

BLOOMBERG

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