China's exports declined for the fifth straight month in March, the General Administration of Customs revealed Friday. Exports dropped 17.1% annually to US$90.29 billion in March.

At the same time, imports decreased sharply by 25.1% from March 2008 to US$71.73 billion. Thus, the trade surplus totaled US$18.56 billion, larger than the US$4.84 billion recorded in February. Economists had expected the surplus to rise to US$12.1 billion.

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