China trade deal will only happen if it favours United States, says Trump

Copper price Chinese concentrate imports hit monthly record

China's total overseas shipments sank 20.7 percent year-on-year and imports fell 5.2 percent, much worse than the 5 percent and 0.6 percent drops forecast in a Bloomberg News poll.

However, deducting the Spring Festival factor, China's foreign trade rose 3.9 percent year on year in February, with exports increasing 1.5 percent and imports rising 6.5 percent, respectively, in US dollar-denominated terms.

"Today's trade figures reinforce our view that China's trade recession has started to emerge", Raymond Yeung, Greater China chief economist at ANZ, wrote in a note.

That left the country with a trade surplus of US$4.12 billion for the month, the General Administration of Customs said.

The Journal, citing people familiar with China's thinking, also reported that after Trump's failed meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month, Beijing officials won't commit to a summit until they are sure of a deal.

China's trade surplus with the USA narrowed to $14.7 billion for the month, from $27.3 billion in January.

So that dropped the exports in the second half of a year ago.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow acknowledged that Trump's planned meeting at his Florida resort with Chinese President Xi Jinping - which officials said was expected to be held late this month to seal an agreement - could slip into April.

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Exports to Europe decreased 15.9 percent to US$2 billion and exports to Japan were down 4.4 percent to US$1.54 billion, the MOF said.

Kudlow told CNBC earlier on Friday that negotiations between US and Chinese officials have been progressing via video-conference and telephone since the last round of face-to-face talks in Washington two weeks ago, when Trump indefinitely extended a tariff truce.

Exports to the United States fell 9.9 percent, while imports tumbled 32.2 percent during the two-month period, the data showed. During the talks Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer enjoyed take out food, he said.

Actual growth last year slowed to 6.6 percent, and is expected to cool further to 6.2 percent this year.

Exports of soybeans, a crucial crop across vast expanses of the U.S., fell 18 percent for the year as the tit-for-tat tariffs sent Chinese buyers elsewhere.

The country's global trade surplus was USD43.7 billion.

Crude oil imports stood at 39.22 million tons, or 10.23 million bpd, which was a 21.6-percent increase on the year and the fourth consecutive month of an import rate above 10 million tons.

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