Chinese foreign trade fell 9.3 per cent in May compared to the same period last year, Chinese customs officials said in Beijing on Sunday.
Exports fell 3.3 per cent calculated in U.S. dollars, while imports fell by as much as 16.7 per cent.
Exports had fared better than experts had predicted in light of the coronavirus pandemic, while imports had fallen below estimates.
The outlook for exports remains poor.
Other economic barometers already indicated last week that export orders are down for May.
In April, exports had performed well, rising a surprise 3.5 per cent, yet imports had already fallen by 14.2 per cent.
Trade with the U.S. fell by a total of 12.7 per cent compared with the same period last year.
The world’s two largest economies have been in a trade-war with mutually imposed special tariffs for two years.
Chinese exports to the U.S. slumped by 14.3 per cent in May, while imports from the US fell by 7.6 per cent.