China’s exports took a surprising tumble in June, putting pressure on the growth of the world’s second-largest economy. Exports dropped 3.1% in June from a year earlier, while imports went down 0.7%, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said on Wednesday. Exports stood at 174.32 billion US dollars and imports totalled 147.19 billion US dollars, with a trade surplus of 27.13 billion US dollars for the month, according to (Xinhua) news agency. Total foreign trade shrank 2% year on year to 321.51 billion US dollars in June. Foreign trade neared 2 trillion US dollars in the first half of the year, up 8.6% year on year, with exports at 1.05 trillion US dollars, up 10.4%, and imports at 944.87 billion US dollars, up 6.7%. China’s foreign trade growth rate has been slowing down in the first half of the year, as it grew 13.5% in the first quarter year on year and 4.3% in the second quarter, but just 0.3% in May and 2% in June, said GAC spokesman Zheng Yuesheng. Zheng attributed the slump in the second quarter mainly to weak global demand, rising foreign exchange and labor costs, and various trade frictions. China’s foreign trade will face more challenges and difficulties in the second half of the year, and the ultimate solution would be to transform growth patterns and restructure commodities, Zheng said.