China's iron ore imports fell 10.9 per cent in August from a month earlier, easing from a record high on fewer shipments from big miners and port congestion.
The world's top iron ore consumer brought in 100.36 million tonnes of iron ore last month, according to data issued by the General Administration of Customs on Monday.
That compared with a purchase of 112.65 million tonnes logged in July and was up 5.8 per cent from the same period a year earlier.
In the first eight months of the year, China imported 759.91 million tonnes of the steelmaking ingredient, rising 11 per cent from the January-August period in 2019, according to the customs data.
Meanwhile, China's overall exports rose for the third consecutive month in August as more of its trading partners relaxed coronavirus lockdowns in a further boost to the recovery in the world's second-biggest economy.
Exports were up a solid 9.5 per cent from a year earlier, customs data showed, marking the strongest gain since March 2019.
The figure also beat analysts' expectations for 7.1 per cent growth and compared with a 7.2 per cent increase in July.
Imports however slumped 2.1 per cent overall, compared with market expectations for a 0.1 per cent increase and extending a 1.4 per cent fall in July.
The strong exports suggest a faster and more balanced recovery for China, which is rebounding from a record first-quarter slump thanks largely to domestic stimulus measures.
"China's exports continue to defy expectations and to grow significantly faster than global trade, thus gaining global market share," said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics.
"The import data disappointed, pointing to the need for caution as we assess growth of China's domestic demand."