China's exports soared a forecast-beating 7.9 percent in January, official data showed Friday, a positive sign for the world's second largest economy and top trading power.
China bought 92 million metric tons of iron ore from global markets last month, up by 12 percent year-on-year, with an average price of 525 yuan per ton.
Ahead of the release of the figures, economists cautioned that Chinese economic data in the month of the Lunar New Year holiday could be distorted. The holiday began in late January this year and early February last year.
It said exports jumped by 7.9 percent year on year to $182.8 billion (171.6 billion euros), reversing December's 6.1-percent plunge.
The new US administration has not announced any major initiatives yet, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused China of unfair trade practices and talked about slapping a 45% tariff on Chinese imports. China's import from Russian Federation surged 39.3% to $3.1 bln.
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By regions, China's trade with European Union, its largest trading partner, rose 14.1 percent year on year, while that with the U.S. jumped 21.9 percent, with ASEAN countries up 18.8 percent, and with Japan rising 18.4 percent.
China's crude oil imports increased by 27.5 percent in January, as compared to the figure of past year. Trump's tough talk of imposing punitive tariffs on Chinese goods worries USA exporters " The exports were largely driven up by the strong economic recovery in the United States", Hong Hao, chief strategist at BOCOM International in Hong Kong, said. Market expectations were for the trade surplus to widen to United States dollars 48.5 billion. That beat the average forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who predicted a surplus of $47.90 billion.
The trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $6.55 billion in January 2017.
Trump hasn't made good yet on his campaign pledges of greater protectionist measures in the early days of his presidency, but analysts say the specter of deteriorating U.S.
China's total trade surplus narrowed in 2016 to $510.7 billion.