China's exports fell 25.4 percent on-year in February, while imports declined 13.8 percent, clocking far bigger slides than expected by analysts.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 12.5 percent drop in February exports, and a 10.0 percent drop in imports, after China's exports fell 11.2 percent in January from a year earlier and imports slid 18.8 percent.
According to Reuters, the on-year decline in exports in February was the steepest since May 2009.
China's trade surplus came in at $32.59 billion in February, against analysts' expectations of a $50.15 billion surplus.
Separately, yuan-denominated data showed exports fell 20.6 percent in February and imports dropped 8.0 percent from a year ago. That left the country with a trade surplus of 209.5 billion yuan ($32.2 billion) for the month.
According to Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics in Singapore, the severe fall in exports largely reflected changes in the timing of the Lunar Year in China this year.
"In 2015, the holiday fell unusually late which meant that more of the pre-holiday rush to meet orders and less of the post holiday disruptions took place in February, causing exports to jump 48.9 percent year-on-year," he said.