China has reported the sharpest export decline for more than a year in March, dipping 14.6 percent year-on-year. Plastics product exports did even worse, shrinking by 24.6 percent.
The latest customs data show that China exported 530,000 metric tons of plastics products in March, totaling $1.9 billion in transaction value. Compared to a year ago, plastics exports contracted by 23.2 percent by weight and sank 24.6 percent by transaction value.
In March 2014, China reported plastics product exports of 690,000 tons, or $2.6 billion.
The first two months of the year actually saw plastics product exports rise 24.5 percent by weight and 20.6 percent by dollar amount. That helped to push the overall first quarter results to a positive 8.1 percent by weight and 5.9 percent increase by transaction value.
Some economists argue that the numbers reflect distortions caused by the long Chinese New Year holiday in late February, which shut down much of the production in the world's largest manufacturing economy.
Other commentators expect the Chinese government to soon release further stimulus measures.