BEIJING: China's import growth slowed faster than expected in April, as inbound shipments of commodities such as iron ore and copper weakened, while export growth more than halved, in line with a general cooling in demand for electronic gadgets.
China's April imports rose 11.9 percent, cooling from March's 20.3 percent rise, official data showed on While the data shows trade remained robust at the beginning of the second quarter, analysts say the spurt in China's economic growth seen in the first three months of the year may be as good as it gets as policymakers seek to tighten speculative investment, especially in the property sector.
"Looking ahead, we expect export growth to hold up well given the relatively bright outlook for the global economy this year," Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard said in a note.
"Growth in inbound shipments will continue to face headwinds, however. In particular, policy tightening will further weigh on domestic demand in coming quarters."
April's numbers left the Country with a trade surplus of $38.05 billion, which compared with forecasts for $35.50 billion, and above $23.93 billion in March. The April trade figures are preliminary, with revised data due on May 23. China's imports of crude oil, iron ore and copper all fell by volume compared with March, with the data in line with a recent survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector showing April expansion was the slowest in six months.