China's trade surplus rose to $31.99 billion in October from $27.67 billion in September, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed on November 10th.
It was the second straight month of surprisingly strong export data, and will likely reinforce market confidence that the Chinese economy is now recovering from a prolonged slowdown.
China's October exports rose 11.6% from a year earlier, faster than September's 9.9% rise and higher than economist expectations for a 10.0% expansion.
Imports, however, rose a lackluster 2.4% from a year earlier, unchanged from September's rise and short of economist expectations for a 4.0% rise.
Analysts said imports of raw materials such as iron ore could have been affected by a longer-than-usual October holiday, which meant factories were open for fewer days than last year.
China's imports from Japan fell 10.1% from a year earlier in October, and were down 6.8% in the first 10 months of the year.
China's exports to Japan were less affected. They were up 1.0% in October from a year earlier, and up 4.1% in the first 10 months.
Exports to Europe fell 8.0% from a year earlier in October, showing that economic weakness there continues to weigh on demand for Chinese goods. Exports to the U.S., on the other hand, were up 9.1%.