China's foreign trade up 22.7 pct in first three quarters

Containers are unloaded at Qingdao Port in Shandong province in March. (Photo: Yu Fangping/China Daily)

BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's total imports and exports expanded 22.7 percent year on year to 28.33 trillion yuan (about 4.38 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of 2021, official data showed Wednesday.

The figure marked an increase of 23.4 percent from the pre-epidemic level in 2019, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Both exports and imports continued double-digit growth in the first nine months of the year, surging 22.7 percent and 22.6 percent from a year earlier, respectively.

In the Jan.-Sept. period, China's trade with its top three trading partners -- the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the United States -- maintained sound growth.

During the period, the growth rates of China's trade value with the three trading partners stood at 21.1 percent, 20.5 percent and 24.9 percent, respectively.

China's trade with countries along the Belt and Road rose 23.4 percent year on year during the same period, while the country's trade with members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership climbed 19.3 percent, customs data showed.

Private enterprises saw imports and exports increase 28.5 percent to 13.65 trillion yuan in the first nine months, accounting for 48.2 percent of the country's total.

The imports and exports of state-owned enterprises rose 25.1 percent to 4.35 trillion yuan in the period.

Exports of mechanical and electrical products, as well as medicine and medicinal materials, registered robust growth in the first three quarters. Exports of automobiles surged 107 percent year on year in the period, while those of medicine and medicinal materials soared 108 percent.

In September alone, the country's imports and exports rose 15.4 percent year on year, 3.5 percentage points slower than August, the data showed.