Data released on Wednesday, April 13, by China’s General Administration of Customs has reflected the impact of China’s zero-Covid policy on the country’s imports and exports.

According to Bloomberg, China’s imports in March, the time COVID-19 reemerged in the country, decreased by 0.1% to 228.7 billion dollars, the first drop ever since August 2020. Between January and February this year, the figure rose by 15.5%, totaling 428.75 billion dollars.

In terms of export, it enjoyed a 14.7% growth in March, with 276.08 billion dollars. Yet, it was a slowed growth rate compared to the 16.3% increase recorded between January and February.

The more notable decelerating figure in China’s imports showed the effect of the lockdown curbs on trade.

Ken Cheung, Chief Asian FX Strategist at Mizuho Bank, said, “The imports side took a hit more heavily from the disruptions to production and logistics caused by the lockdowns.”

He further said that rising commodity costs since the Russia – Ukraine war may be dampening import demand.

Analysts were pessimistic if the data could be better in the next two months.
According to the South China Morning Post, Chief Economist Zhang Zhiwei expected that China’s exports would stay weak in April and May due to the adverse impact on industrial production.

In addition, Zheng Houcheng, Director of the Yingda Securities Research Institute, said, “The pressure on the global economy is likely to drive down commodity prices over the medium-term, which would hit China’s exports, in both volume and value, in the second half [of the year].”

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