(CNN) -- China recorded a $7.24 billion trade deficit in March, the General Administration of Customs announced Saturday, according to state media Xinhua News Agency.
It was the country's first monthly trade deficit since April 2004, Xinhua reported.
China exported $112.11 billion worth of goods and services in the month of March -- an increase of 24.3 percent year on year, and imports rose 66 percent year on year to $119.35 billion, Xinhua reported.
In March, imports and exports increased by 42.8 percent year on year to $231.46 billion, according to the customs statistics.
Combining the first three months, China still recorded a trade surplus of $14.49 billion in the first quarter, a fall of 76.7 percent from the same period of last year, Xinhua reported.
In the first quarter, China's imports and exports totaled $617.85 billion -- a rise of 44.1 percent year on year, Xinhua reported.