China's exports and imports unexpectedly accelerated last month after slowing in October, an encouraging sign for the world's second-biggest economy which has started to slow in the face of a government crackdown on debt risks and factory pollution.
According to China's General Administration of Customs, imports grew by 17.7% in USA dollar terms, above the 17.2% increase of October and forecasts for a smaller gain of 11.3%.
In local currency terms, exports climbed 10.3% and imports advanced 15.6% in November.
Tighter rules to rein in risks from a rapid build-up in debt and cut pollution have weighed on overall activity since the third quarter.
While the war on pollution had been expected to reduce raw materials imports, Friday's trade numbers showed commodity imports rebounded last month.
In volumes terms, imports of copper, crude oil, iron ore and coal all rose from a month earlier.
Iron ore imports also lifted, jumping to 94.54 million tonnes from 79.49 million tonnes in October.
"They're trying to accumulate stocks and will do so maybe through March in anticipation of Chinese mills resuming production when China lifts the winter restrictions". The 2017 total is set to fall short of the record 4.94 million tonnes of imports in 2016 after a weak first half of the year.
Demand for Chinese products has proven robust as growth in major trade partners remains intact, and imports are stabilising as the economy has outperformed this year.
The latest figures beat most economists' forecasts and add to evidence that strengthening global and domestic demand is helping shore up China's economic growth.