April 14 (UPI) -- The Chinese government said Tuesday it bought twice as many U.S. agricultural products during the first quarter of 2020 than it did a year ago, as part of a trade agreement.
Despite the increase, overall trade between the world's two largest economies decreased in the first quarter by more than 18 percent over Q1 in 2019. Chinese exports to the United States fell 23.6 percent and imports declined 1.3 percent.
Beijing promised last year to buy more U.S. agricultural products as part of trade negotiations to end a long-running trade conflict.
Some experts expect that China will face greater exporting challenges in the coming months due to the coronavirus crisis.
"Its impact on China's exports ... might only show up in [the second quarter], especially April and May," Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura, said. "We expect China's export growth to plummet to around 30 percent [in Q2]."
The world's largest exporter, China reported Tuesday its overall export shipments fell 17.2 percent in January and February and 6.6 percent in March.