Nine months into the year, China's trade surplus has already broken the annual record set last year.
Through last month, exports exceeded imports by US$110.9 billion, surpassing the all-time high trade gap of US$102 billion last year, government statistics showed yesterday.
China's growing trade surplus has been a sore point in relations with its major trading partners, particularly the US, and has added pressure on the country to allow the value of its currency, the yuan, to rise. That would make its exports more expensive and imports into China more competitive.
The trade gap last month totaled US$15.3 billion, down from a monthly record of US$18.8 billion in August, China's General Administration of Customs reported.
China's exports totaled US$91.64 billion last month, up 30.6 percent from the same month a year earlier, while imports rose 22 percent year-on-year to US$76.34 billion, it said.
The figures did not break down trade by region. China's trade surplus with the US last year surged to US$202 billion. That figure is larger than China's global trade gap because it has a trade deficit with some nations.
The pace of growth for both exports and imports exceeded forecasts by economists, who said they expected about a 28 percent rise for exports and a 20 percent rise for imports.
Economists attributed the sharp rise in exports and the widening of the surplus in August to exporters trying to increase shipments ahead of a widely anticipated tax rebate cut.
On Sept. 15, Beijing cut rebate rates for the export of some goods, including coal and textiles, while raising the rates for goods in some sectors, such as information technology and biomedicine.
A higher rebate rate reduces costs for exporters.