China's exports surge, trade surplus widens
November 10, 2012 -- Updated 0808 GMT (1608 HKT)
Containers been loaded on to a ship at the Qingdao port, in northeastern China's Shandong province on March 9, 2012.
- China's exports swell by 11.6% in October
- Foreign trade expands 6.4% in first 10 months of this year
- Commerce minister says 10% trade growth unlikely for 2012
- Growth hit by European slowdown, higher operating costs
Hong Kong (CNN) -- China's trade surplus widened further in October to $32 billion as exports swelled 11.6%, the strongest rise since May, state-run news agency Xinhua reported Saturday.
During the same period, imports rose 2.4% year-on-year, the same rate of growth recorded in September.
In the first ten months of 2012, the country's total foreign trade expanded 6.3% to $3.16 trillion compared to the same period last year.
China had set a target of target of 10% growth in foreign trade this year, however the country's commerce minister has said that will be difficult to achieve.
Can China's new leader maintain growth?
"Even though our year-on-year export growth rate rebounded slightly to 9.9% in September and 11% in October, it remains very difficult for us to achieve the 10% foreign trade growth target for the whole year," Chen said on the sidelines of the Communist Party's 18th National Congress in Beijing, according to Xinhua.
Challenges for China's new leaders
Read more: Hu warns of corruption threat
China's Middle East trading ties
Chen said that China could instead expect to maintain its share of global trade.
Last year, China's trade surged 22.5 percent, however this year weak global demand, higher operating costs and growing trade protectionism were putting pressure on exports, Xinhua reported.
In the first ten months of this year, trade with China's largest trading partner, the European Union fell 3% amid a severe economic downturn and a series of severe austerity measures. A territorial dispute between China and Japan has also taken a toll on their economic relations, pushing trade between the two down by 2.1%.
Read more: Will the music stop for China's economy?
The falls were offset by China's growing trade relations with the United States, ASEAN countries, Russia and Brazil. This year, China's trade with the U.S., its second largest trading partner, increased by 9.1% to $396 billion.
The positive figures come as thousands of delegates meet in Beijing for a once-in-a-decade leadership change. Next week, Xi Jinping is expected to be named the country's new president, replacing current President Hu Jintao.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 0654 GMT (1454 HKT)
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 0315 GMT (1115 HKT)
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1454 GMT (2254 HKT)
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0229 GMT (1029 HKT)
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 0020 GMT (0820 HKT)
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
The massive street rallies that have swept Hong Kong present a major dilemma for China's leadership.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 0707 GMT (1507 HKT)
Chinese wine drinkers need to develop a taste for the cheap stuff, not just premium red wines like Lafite.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0109 GMT (0909 HKT)
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, set off a media kerfuffle this month when he spoke about his next reincarnation.
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 1418 GMT (2218 HKT)
He's one of the fieriest political activists in Hong Kong — he's been called an "extremist" by China's state-run media — and he's not old enough to drive.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
China has no wine-making tradition but the country now uncorks more bottles of red than any other.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 0538 GMT (1338 HKT)
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.