Beijing reported 18.01 billion U.S. dollars worth of imports and exports in November, down 5.4 percent from the same month last year.
The negative growth is the first since August 2002, a source from Beijing Customs said Thursday.
The global financial crisis also pulled down the growth rate of foreign trade in Beijing by 51 percentage points compared to October.
Exports made up 4.88 billion U.S. dollars, up 3.7 percent, and imports were 13.13 billion U.S. dollars, down 8.4 percent.
According to the customs statistics, the global economic condition is starting to impact foreign trade.
Imports and exports by the processing trade in the Beijing region was 2.77 billion U.S. dollars last month, down 6.5 percent from November of last year and down 9.1 percent from October this year.
Both foreign and domestic firms fared badly in foreign trade in the past month. Overseas-financed companies reported 4.23 billion U.S. dollars of foreign trade last month, down by 18.7 percent from a year ago.
State-owned Chinese firms also saw a decrease of 2.4 percent to12.6 billion U.S. dollars in foreign trade.
Apart from the export of garment and apparel accessories, which rose by 1.5 percent to reach 1.77 billion U.S. dollars in November, exports of cell phones, steel products, processed oils, coal and coke all fell, according to the customs statistics.