BEIJING — China’s exports and imports both recorded unexpectedly strong growth in October, a sign that the economy remained resilient despite growing external uncertainties.
Exports in yuan-denominated terms rose 20.1 percent year-on-year in October, sharply up from the 17-percent growth seen in September, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.
The data showed imports surged 26.3 percent last month, also quickening from a rise of 17.4 percent registered in September.
As a result, trade surplus stood at 233.63 billion yuan (about $33.76 billion) last month, widening from 213.23 billion yuan in September.
For the first 10 months of the year, China’s foreign trade totaled 25.05 trillion yuan, up 11.3 percent from the same period last year.
The trade surplus for the first 10 months narrowed 26.1 percent year-on-year to 1.65 trillion yuan.
Analysts said the stronger-than-expected trade growth is partly caused by “front-loading activity” as exporters ramp up shipments amid trade uncertainties.
Huatai Securities analysts noted a lower comparative base from last year and a weaker yuan, as well as that China’s closer economic and trade ties with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and along the Belt and Road also led to the strong growth.
October marked the first full month after the latest US tariffs on Chinese goods came into effect.
For the first 10 months, China’s foreign trade with the United States, its second-biggest trade partner, rose 7.4 percent. Its surplus with the United States widened 11.5 percent from one year earlier to 1.69 trillion yuan.
Trade with the European Union (EU), China’s biggest trade partner, climbed 8.4 percent year-on-year for January-October, and that with the ASEAN, its third-largest trade partner, expanded 13.7 percent.
Combined trade with countries along the Belt and Road amounted to 6.84 trillion yuan, up 14.8 percent from one year earlier.
Yingda Securities chief economist Li Daxiao said a string of favorable policies, including lower import tariffs and higher export tax rebates, also helped boost trade growth and stabilize the economic growth.
The country’s economy expanded 6.5 percent in the third quarter, down from 6.7 percent in the second quarter but in line with the government’s annual target.
Its imports of crude oil climbed 8.1 percent year-on-year to 377 million tons in the first 10 months. Coal imports increased 11.5 percent while those of copper surged 17.2 percent. However, auto imports dropped 5.3 percent compared with one year earlier.
At the ongoing first China International Import Expo, China vowed to import $40 trillion worth of products and services in the next 15 years.