Iron ore shipments topped 100 million tons for a fifth month, with the year-to-date total running 11% ahead of 2019 as China turned to its usual infrastructure splurge to rejuvenate the economy.
Exports to the United States rose 22.5 per cent year-on-year in October, while imports grew 32.9 per cent, according to customs data.
China's recovery was driven by strong industrial growth.
China's foreign trade sustained its upward momentum in October with notable growth and improved structure, official data showed Saturday. Huawei, for instance, was thought to have front-loaded chip purchases ahead of a USA ban on foreign companies selling chips containing American parts to the Chinese giant.
Exports have been bigger than the same month a year earlier since April, but after the first quarter's 13.3 per cent contraction, total growth for 2020 was in negative territory until now.
China saw a boost in trade with the United States in October as well even as a resurgence in the number of virus cases is expected to dampen the USA economic recovery.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations remained China's largest trading partner during the period, followed by the European Union and the United States. This was up from US$30.75 billion in September and was 46.5 per cent higher than when Trump took office in January 2017. This appeared to pay a dividend in electoral terms for US President Donald Trump.
"China's export machine has flourished during the Covid-19 crisis, with growth over recent months supported by global appetite for its medical equipment and electronics products", Thomas Hale reports for the FT.
Arrivals of unwrought copper and copper products stood at 618,108 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said.
Earlier this year, China had enjoyed a trade windfall due to coronavirus lockdowns across the world. That was followed by textiles, yarn, fabric and other related goods, which increased nearly 32%.Meat imports increased more than 75% in the first 10 months, while purchases of cosmetics and toiletries rose about 26%. There may also be a boost from re-openings in other countries, although that may fade as major economies return to virus lockdowns. "[This is] principally because the production side of the equation in the U.S. and Europe will probably continue to gradually recover regardless, eroding China's supply advantage, and it seems like government income support to households will not be as big this time", said Thomas Gatley, a China analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics in Beijing.