On Sunday, China released its October trade figures with exports, imports, and the size of the overall trade surplus coming in lower than expected.

From a year earlier, exports fell by 6.9%, which was worse than the 3.7% drop in September and expectations for a decline of 3.0%.

On the other side of the ledger, imports tumbled by 18.8% from October 2014. While an improvement from the 20.4% drop in September, the reading missed expectations for a smaller fall of 16.0%.

With the value of exports declining at a far slower pace than imports, the trade surplus rose to $61.64 billion, the highest level on record. Despite setting a new record monthly surplus, the figure missed forecasts for an expansion to $64.75 billion.

Chinese trade data Oct 2015

The news was all gloom for Australia, a major supplier of commodities to China.

Chinese iron ore imports fell to 75.52 million tonnes during the month, down 12.3% on September, leaving the annual decline at 4.9%. Reflective of the broader trend, between January to October iron ore imports totalled 774.5 million tonnes, down 0.5% on the same period of 2014.

The figures are similar to those reported by the Port Hedland Port Authority last week which revealed iron ore exports to China fell 9% to 33.782 million tonnes in October.

Like iron ore, Chinese coal imports also fell heavily, dropping 21.4% from September to 13.96 million tonnes. Between January to October, total coal imports came in at 170.3 million tonnes, down 29.9% on the same period a year earlier.

As reported by Business Insider