expected 38.1%

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s exports in March rose 30.6% from a year earlier, lagging expectations but still showing robust growth, while imports jumped a faster-than-expected 38.1%, customs data showed on Tuesday.

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Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast year-on-year exports growth of 35.5% after shipments surged 154.9% in February.

Imports were estimated to have increased 23.3% year-on-year, picking up from growth of 17.3% in February.

China posted a trade surplus of $13.8 billion in March, compared with the poll’s forecast for a $52.05 billion surplus and $37.88 billion surplus in February.

(Reporting by Colin Qian and Gabriel Crossley ; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)