The country imported and exported a record amount of goods in yuan-denominated terms in September, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing a spokesperson for the national customs agency. In the third quarter, China’s exports rose 10.2% from a year ago to 5 trillion yuan ($742.9 billion), the agency said. Imports rose 4.3% to 3.88 trillion yuan during that time, according to the data.
Global demand for Chinese medical supplies helped boost exports in the last several months. China was the first country affected by the pandemic, and has since become the first major economy to resume most business activity.
The closely watched Chinese trade surplus with the U.S. narrowed to $30.75 billion in September — nearly $3.5 billion lower than August. The year-to-date total was $218.57 billion, according to customs data accessed through Wind Information. Chinese imports of U.S. agricultural goods rose 44.4% in the first three quarters of the year from a year ago, to 91.39 billion yuan. Chinese exports of medical products to the U.S. rose 32.4% over that time to 20.13 billion yuan, while that of mobile phones fell 3.4% to 128.69 billion yuan. China’s exports to the U.S. over the first nine months of the year rose 1.8% to 2.18 trillion yuan, while imports rose 2.8% to 640.86 billion yuan, or about $95 billion.