On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, non-oil domestic exports declined 8.7 percent in April, beating a forecast for a 13.3 percent slide.
Shipments to Europe expanded 11.4 percent from a year earlier after March's 56.2 percent surge.
But non-oil domestic exports to China eased 5.1 percent in April on-year after a 1.1 percent expansion in March, while sales to the United States fell 8.3 percent, compared to a 19.0 percent growth in March.
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China's economy lost further momentum in April, adding to concerns that Beijing's growth target of around 7 percent for the year is at risk even if the government rolls out additional stimulus measures.
Recent disappointing U.S. data also suggested the world's top economy may be struggling to regain momentum after an abrupt slowdown in the first quarter.
"What's quite clear is that the U.S. had a soft patch in the first quarter, and so far the recent economic numbers point to a similarly weak second quarter as well," said Selena Ling, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking.