China records shock trade deficit in March

CHINA has recorded a rare monthly trade deficit in March for the first time in six years following the increase in price of imported goods, raw materials and commodities.

Chen Deming, China’s minister of commerce, said the nation’s $7.2bn (£4.68bn) trade deficit was a “blip”.

The minister also repeated his government's now entrenched line that the country’s yuan exchange rate has little sway over its trade flows.

“The market situation and how open it is to the outside, rather than the foreign exchange policy, has a major say in which direction the trade balance would swing,” he said.

Beijing has pegged the yuan near 6.83 per dollar since mid-2008 to help its exporters weather the global crisis. Washington and other capitals have been pressing Beijing to resume appreciation of the yuan currency, which they say is held so low that China’s exporters enjoy an unfair advantage.