ccording to the latest statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs, China’s export and import volume in the first four months of 2018 totaled 4.8 trillion yuan (US$738.4b) and 4.3 trillion yuan (US$661.5b), with the trade surplus decreasing by 24.1 percent to 506.2 billion yuan (US$77.9b), compared to that of the same period in 2017.
The drop was attributed to the big increase in imports of iron, copper and especially crude oil. Customs data showed that in April alone, China imported 39.46 million tons of crude oil, a 14.7 percent growth compared to that of last April and a 14.1 percent growth compared to that of March. The growth is due to the decrease in the output of domestic crude oil and the government’s loosened controls on private refinery plants using imported oil.
Yet, despite the declining trade surplus, China’s Ministry of Commerce claimed in its latest forecast on China’s international trade that the nation’s continuing supply-side reform will push the stable growth of both exports and imports.