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China Jan-Feb exports tumble 17.2%, imports down 4%

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China's exports tumbled 17.2 per cent in January-February from a year earlier, while imports shrank 4 per cent, as a fast spreading coronavirus outbreak caused massive disruptions in economic activity that rippled through global supply chains, customs data showed on Saturday.

[BEIJING] China's exports tumbled 17.2 per cent in January-February from a year earlier, while imports shrank 4 per cent, as a fast spreading coronavirus outbreak caused massive disruptions in economic activity that rippled through global supply chains, customs data showed on Saturday.

The export fall was the steepest since February 2019 and worse than a 14 per cent drop tipped by a Reuters poll of analysts. Exports had risen 7.9 per cent in December.

Analysts had forecast a 15 per cent contraction in imports, reversing sharply from a rise of 16.5 per cent in December.

China posted a trade deficit of US$7.09 billion in the first two months of the year, compared with the poll's forecast for a US$24.6 billion surplus, and a reversal of December's surplus of US$47.21 billion.

China did not release trade figures for January alone.

REUTERS