China's food export reached $2.62 billion in March, up 8.9 percent from a year earlier, presenting the first year-on-year growth in the last five months, said General Administration of Customs (GAC) in Beijing on Monday.
Export of fruit led the growth, rising 23.5 percent in March. Seafood was up 16.2 percent year on year.
Food export totaled $7.17 in the first quarter, down 5.5 percent year on year.
The country's food export had been falling since October 2008, affected by the global financial crisis and the baby milk scandal that left six infants dead and almost 300,000 ill, said the GAC in an online analysis on food export posted on Monday.
The situation improved as governmental and industry efforts to strengthen food safety supervision and expand export began to pay off, according the analysis.
The overall demand for food was still there, said the GAC.
However, the shadow of the global economic downturn and concerns over food safety could still be felt, reflected in the year-on-year drop of the food exported such as vegetable and fruit juice, canned mushrooms, meat products and live poultry, according to the administration.