BEIJING, June 10 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign trade of goods rose 4.1 percent year on year in the first five months of this year to 12.1 trillion yuan (about 1.76 trillion U.S. dollars), customs data showed Monday.
Exports increased 6.1 percent year on year to 6.5 trillion yuan during this period, while imports grew 1.8 percent to 5.6 trillion yuan, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said.
May trade rose 2.9 percent to amount to 2.59 trillion yuan. Exports grew 7.7 percent, reaching 1.43 trillion yuan, while imports dropped 2.5 percent, GAC data showed.
Trade surplus expanded 45 percent to 893.36 billion yuan during the January-May period.
The European Union was China's largest trading partner in the period, with bilateral trade volume up 11.7 percent from one year earlier to 1.9 trillion yuan, followed by the ASEAN, up 9.4 percent to 1.63 trillion yuan, and the United States, down 9.6 percent to 1.42 trillion yuan.
Trade with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative totaled 3.49 trillion yuan, up 9 percent year on year, 4.9 percentage points higher than the overall pace, the GAC said, adding that the amount accounted for 28.8 percent of China's total trade volume, up 1.3 percentage points from the same period last year.
The country's private businesses reported faster trade growth in the first five months, with the trade volume increasing 11.1 percent to 5.02 trillion yuan. The amount accounted for 41.4 percent of the total trade volume in the period, up 2.6 percentage points year on year.
Exports of mechanical and electrical products, as well as labor-intensive products such as textile and furniture, maintained growth in the period.
In addition, imports of crude oil and natural gas saw an increase, while soybean imports dropped in the first five months.