BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters) - China's September exports fell 10 percent from a year earlier, far more than markets had expected, while imports unexpectedly shrank 1.9 percent after an encouraging bump up in August, official data showed on Thursday.
That left the country with a trade surplus of $41.99 billion for the month, the General Administration of Customs said.
China's exports in the first nine months of the year fell 7.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, while imports dropped 8.2 percent.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected imports to rise 1 percent, after unexpectedly expanding 1.5 percent in August for the first time in nearly two years on stronger demand for coal, iron ore and other resources which are feeding a construction boom.
Exports had been expected to fall 3 percent, slightly worse than in August as global demand for Asian goods remains stubbornly weak.
Analysts had expected the trade surplus to expand to $53 billion in September from August's $52.05 billion. (Reporting by Yawen Chen and Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill)