Beijing: China's exports defied expectations and rose 2.3 percent in December but the overall exports of the global trading giant fell by 1.8 percent last year, the government said Wednesday.
The exports which were on decline for the best part of the year due to slowing demand and slump in the commodity prices, rose in December for the first time since June last year aided by its currency depreciation, Chinese customs data said.
Chinese currency continued to get weakened after about 3.6 percent depreciation of Yuan in August last year which has caused a major upheaval in the world markets. Analysts said the weaker Yuan is helping to boost export revenues.
Exports rose to 1.43 trillion yuan (USD 218 billion) in December while imports dropped to 1.05 trillion yuan, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC) data.
Total foreign trade values in December edged down 0.5 percent year on year to 2.48 trillion yuan while monthly trade surplus widened to 382.1 billion yuan from 343.1 billion yuan in November, customs data showed.
For the whole year of 2015, China's foreign trade surplus widened to 3.69 trillion yuan, an increase of 56.7 percent from a year earlier, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Exports fell 1.8 percent year on year to 14.14 trillion yuan in 2015, while imports declined 13.2 percent to 10.45 trillion yuan.
GAC spokesman Huang Songping attributed the foreign trade decline in 2015 mainly to falling commodity prices and sluggish demand.
Last year, the country's total export and import values decreased seven percent year on year to 24.59 trillion yuan as the economy slowed down.
Crude oil imports in 2015 rose 8.8 percent to 334 million tonnes while that of iron ore climbed 2.2 percent to 953 million tonnes.
Huang warned of upcoming difficulties, saying feeble global economic growth and sluggish external demand would not see evident improvement in 2016.
In dollar-denominated terms, China's exports fell for the sixth consecutive month, by 1.4 percent from one year earlier in December, but the pace of fall decelerated from November's 6.8 percent decline.
Imports decreased 7.6 percent year on year, receding for 14th consecutive month, but improving from the previous month's 8.7-percent, Xinhua report said.
China is the world's largest trading nation with combined exports and imports worth USD 4,303 billion in 2014.