China’s exports grew just 6.5% year-on-year in February and the country registered a trade surplus of just US$8.555 billion as imports surged 35.1% year-on-year, the China Securities Journal reported, citing the latest figures from customs. Export growth was the slowest for the last 10 months while the trade surplus was also the narrowest it has been over the same period. Chen Deming, China’s commerce minister, said the country’s sharp slowdown in export growth in February was due to a number of factors, including the snowstorms that wrought havoc in central and southern China, which caused production breakdowns and paralyzed transport lines, and the Chinese New Year holiday. “Everything will come back to normal in March,” he said. China’s exports rose 26.7% year-on-year and imports 27.6% in January, leading to a US$19.49 billion surplus. “The Chinese New Year started in early February and many firms exported their products in January,” said Chen. “So is better to study the figures for January and February combined.” The central government aims to achieve a 15% annualized growth rate in trade value this year.

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