China's total imports and exports expanded 22,7 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2021, reaching 28,33 trillion yuan (about 4,38 trillion dollars), according to official data released Wednesday. .
The figure marked a 23,4 percent increase from the pre-epidemic level in 2019, according to the General Administration of Customs, the official Xinhua agency reported.
Both exports and imports continued with double-digit growth in the first nine months of the year, increasing by 22,7 and 22,6 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year.
Between January and September, China's trade with the top three trading partners - the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the United States, maintained strong growth.
During the period, China's trade value growth rates with these three trading partners stood at 21,1, 20,5, and 24,9 percent, respectively.
China's trade with the Belt and Road countries rose 23,4 percent year-on-year during the same period, while trade with members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Association increased 19,3 percent, according to customs data.
Private companies recorded import and export increases of 28,5 percent to 13,65 trillion yuan in the first nine months of the year, representing 48,2 percent of the national total.
Imports and exports of state-owned companies grew 25,1 percent to 4,35 trillion yuan in the period.
Exports of mechanical and electrical products, as well as medicines and medical materials, reported a robust increase in the first three quarters. Exports of automobiles were up 107 percent year-on-year, while those of drugs and medical supplies also rose 108 percent.
In September alone, China's imports and exports rose 15,4 percent year-on-year, 3,5 percentage points below the August figure, according to the same source.