Chinese exporters think things can only improve from here

Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images

Instability in the yuan, rising costs and financial difficulties continue to plague Chinese exporters, although as a collective group, they expect conditions to improve this year, according to a Chinese government survey.

Despite that cautiously optimistic view, Shen Danyang, a spokesperson for China’s commerce ministry, said on Thursday that the survey of exporters in 20 individual provinces suggested that exporters expected China’s trade to face severe challenges year with continuing “downward pressure”.

Next Wednesday China will release international trade figures for March, with many hoping for a better performance than February.

According to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, exports tanked by 25.4% from 12 months earlier, registering the steepest annual decline since May 2009. Imports fared little better, dropping

China’s commerce minister, Gao Hucheng, said last month that China’s foreign trade may show a big rebound in March after falling in the first two months of the year, according to a report from Reuters.

The variable timing of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday often creates volatility in Chinese data during the first two months each year.