China's exports rose 25.1 percent in September from a year earlier to $144.99 billion, but the pace of growth slowed from August's 34.4-percent surge, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said on Wednesday.
The country's imports rose 24.1 percent year on year to reach record $128.11 billion last month, with the growth rate down 11.1 percentage points from that in August.
China's foreign trade in the first nine months totaled $2.15 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 37.9 percent, the GAC said in a statement on its website.
China's trade surplus for September dropped 15.7 percent month on month to stand at $16.88 billion, a five-month low, the GAC said.
Zhang Yansheng, an international trade researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission, said China's recent import-conducive policies contributed to robust growth in imports.
China's September imports increased 7.4 percent month on month, according to the GAC.
Concerning September's export performance, Zhang said the appreciation of the yuan, China's currency, as known as the renminbi, had taken a toll on the country's export-oriented companies. The Chinese central bank pledged on June 19 to increase the flexibility of the yuan exchange rate.
The value of yuan hit a new high against US dollar on Wednesday with the central parity rate of the yuan set at 6.6693 per US dollar
Based on Wednesday's central parity rate, the Chinese currency has strengthened against the US dollar by about 2.32 percent since the People's Bank of China's (PBOC) pledge.
Tang Min, vice secretary-general of the China Development Research Foundation, said the decline in the growth rate of exports in September was normal considering the fading in the effects of stimulus measures of various nations.
However, China's exports will continue to grow as demand from developed countries remains strong and world economy will not experience a double dip recession, said Li Jian, a research fellow at the Research Institute of the MOC.
China's trade surplus for the first nine months totaled $120.6 billion, down 10.5 percent from the same period last year.
Trade with the European Union, China's largest trade partner, jumped 34.4 percent year on year to $349.49 billion in the January-September period, the GAC said.
Trade with the United States climbed 31.5 percent to $278.54 billion during the period while that with Japan rose 32.2 percent to $214.46 billion.
Trade with ASEAN countries surged 43.7 percent year on year to $211.31 billion in the first three quarters, it said.