China's foreign trade may fluctuate in the first quarter of 2014 due to seasonal factors like the Spring Festival, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce on Monday.
"We are prudently optimistic about foreign trade this year. We are confident about keeping the same growth rate in foreign trade this year as last year based on growth mode transformation and restructuring," said Shen Danyang at a press conference.
Despite the same growth rate, many enterprises, especially medium-sized and small ones, are struggling with low profits due to high costs, the rising yuan and difficulties in pricing their goods higher, Shen said.
China's foreign trade, denominated in U.S. dollars, climbed 10.3 percent year on year in January, but in the yuan-denominated version, it went up only 7.3 percent year on year.
Shen attributed the difference to the fact that the yuan appreciated about 2.9 percent in January from a year earlier.