BEIJING, July 10 -- China's exports in June increased 7.2 percent year on year to 186.8 billion U.S. dollars, as the country's foreign trade continued its warming trend, customs data showed on Thursday.
Imports went up 5.5 percent to 155.2 billion U.S. dollars and total foreign trade volume increased 6.4 percent to 342 billion U.S. dollars, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said.
Trade balance realized a surplus of 31.6 billion U.S. dollars in June, according to the GAC.
The combined foreign trade volume in the first half of this year saw a year-on-year growth of 1.2 percent to 2.02 trillion U.S. dollars, the data showed.
Exports increased 0.9 percent and imports went up 1.5 percent during the period, while the trade surplus stood at 102.86 billion U.S. dollars.
GAC spokesman Zheng Yuesheng attributed the improving export and import figures to rising demand due to global economic recovery and pro-trade measures from the Chinese central government, which together gradually reversed the weak performance in the first quarter.
Weighed down by shrinking external demand, China's total foreign trade was disappointing in the January-March period, with exports down 3.4 percent, adding to concerns over the country's economic strength.
China's trade with major partners also gathered steam. During the first half, trade with the European Union saw the largest year-on-year growth of 9.6 percent, accounting for 14.4 percent of China's total foreign trade.
Its trade with the United States increased by 2.8 percent in the same period, followed by 2.6 percent with the ASEAN and 1.3 percent with Japan.
However, trade between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong dropped 24.1 percent from a year ago due to a high base figure in the corresponding period last year.
China set a trade growth target of 7.5 percent this year, lower than the 8-percent goal for 2013 and last year's actual expansion of 7.6 percent.