container, crane, truck, third party, ship, China, Shanghai

Port of Shanghai, image (c) APM Terminals

(Bloomberg) — China’s exports rose 25 percent in January from a year earlier while imports increased 28.8 percent, resulting in a trade surplus of $29.15 billion, the customs administration said today in Beijing.

The growth in overseas shipments compares with the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey for a 17.5 percent expansion and a 14.1 percent increase the previous month.

The gain in imports compares with the median estimate for a 23.5 percent jump and a 6 percent increase in December. The trade surplus compared with the median projection for $24.7 billion and a $27.1 billion excess a year ago.

The customs administration last month defended the quality of its trade data after analysts at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. and UBS AG said it may fail to capture the true picture of imports and exports.

Trade data in the first two months of the year is distorted by the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January in 2012 and is in early February this year, making the figures tough to interpret, according to economists including Louis Kuijs, chief China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Plc in Hong Kong.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg.

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