China exports growth hits 8-month high, imports defy pollution curbs

China exports growth hits 8-month high, imports defy pollution curbs

China's exports and imports unexpectedly accelerated last month after slowing in October, an encouraging sign for the world's second-biggest economy which has started to slow in the face of a government crackdown on debt risks and factory pollution.

China's exports expanded much faster than expected in November but the annual increase in imports outpaced export growth, data from the General Administration of Customs showed Friday.

In yuan terms, the surplus fell to 263.6 billion yuan, down from 285.4 billion yuan in October.

In dollar terms, exports advanced 12.3% year-over-year in November, well above the 5.9% rise economists had forecast.

Meanwhile, China's exports of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products rebounded in November after four straight months of declines.

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The latest data showed the country posted a trade surplus of $40.21 billion for the month versus expectations for $35 billion in November after October's $38.185 billion.

Chinese copper smelters such as Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group cut back production last month to comply with environmental protection measures.

Iron ore imports "were not necessarily just by steel mills but could have been also purchased by traders", said Helen Lau at Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong. The 2017 total is set to fall short of the record 4.94 million tonnes of imports in 2016 after a weak first half of the year.

While exports are contributing to China's economic growth once again, global investors have been more focused on its strong appetite for industrial commodities such as iron ore and coal, which is boosting resources prices worldwide.

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