The Chinese government says the country's two-way trade fell nearly seven percent during the first half of 2015, compared to the same period a year ago.
The 6.9 percent decline in the total of imports and exports, according to figures released Monday by the General Administration of Customs, was well below Beijing's official goal of a six percent rise in two-way trade for this year.
For the month of June, the customs office says exports rose 2.8 percent, an improvement over May. Imports dropped by 6.1 percent last month.
China posted a $46.5 billion trade surplus, an increase of 47 percent from the year before.
The customs office say the mixed economic numbers are due to lagging demand among consumers in China's domestic market, as well as sluggish demand in foreign markets.