BEIJING, May 11 -- China posted a trade surplus of $1.68 billion in April, down 87 percent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said on Monday.
According to the GAC figures, China's exports in April totaled $119.92 billion, up 30.5 percent from a year ago and 6.3 percent from March. While imports reached $118.24 billion, up 49.7 percent year-on-year.
Combining imports and exports, China's April external trade rose 39.4 percent year-on-year to $238.16 billion.
Taking the first four months together, China's January-April external trade increased 42.7 percent from a year earlier to $855.99 billion.
From January to April, China's exports rose 29.2 percent year-on-year to $436.05 billion while imports grew 60.1 percent to $419.94 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $16.11 billion in the first four months, sharply down 78.6 percent from a year earlier.
According to the GAC figures for the January-April period, the European Union remained China's largest trading partner, with China-EU bilateral trade topping $137.77 billion, up 34.6 from the same period last year.
January-April trade between China and the United States, the country's second largest trading partner, increased 25 percent year-on-year to $107.18 billion.
Japan outpaced the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as China's third largest trading partner in the first four months, revealed the GAC statistics.
January-April trade between China and Japan gained 37.5 percent to $88.66 billion, up 34.6 percent from a year ago. In the first four months, China's trade deficit with Japan more than doubled to $17.72 billion.
China also recorded a trade deficit of $5.87 billion with ASEAN from January to April, compared with $830 million of trade surplus with ASEAN in the same period last year.