12 Apr 2010

China reports first monthly trade deficit since 2004

11:53 am on 12 April 2010

China has announced its first monthly trade deficit in almost six years.

The official news agency report says figures released by the customs authorities showed a trade deficit in March of more than $US7 billion ($NZ9.35 billion).

Analysts say the deficit is largely due to a combination of rising prices for raw materials, of which China is a huge importer, and the weakness of China's main export markets.

It's the first time the trade balance has been in the red since April 2004, though the level of both exports and imports was still higher than in the previous March.