In recent months, Chinese exports had expanded robustly, which economists said reflected front-loading of cargoes before a now-postponed plan to hike United States tariffs of US$200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on Jan 1.
The Ministry of Commerce said ThursdayChina will immediately start implementing agreements on agricultural products, energy and cars that were reached at the weekend summit between Chinese and USA leaders over their ongoing trade dispute.
As U.S. businesses import more products from overseas, they are subject to higher taxes on those imports, thanks to the new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. Trump tweeted this week that China would begin buying products from U.S. farmers "immediately".
Gao's briefing came hours after the trade detente risked being rattled by the arrest in Canada of a top executive from Chinese telecom giant Huawei at the request of the United States.
Import growth was 3 per cent, the slowest since October 2016, and a fraction of the 14.5 per cent seen in the poll.
Talks during the 90 day period during which President Donald Trump has agreed to suspend USA tariff hikes will start by focusing on farm goods, energy and automobiles, said a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Gao Feng.
China's exports to the USA rose 9.8 per cent for November on-year, while imports for the month fell 25 per cent on-year, the data from China's customs administration showed.
The customs data showed that annual growth for exports to all of China's major partners slowed significantly.
The two agreed a 90-day window starting from December 1 to try to resolve their differences, but if they can not do so then the threatened tariff increase will kick in on March 1.
Other economic indicators also suggest that China's exports are facing stronger headwinds.
But growth of exports and imports slowed from October, with exports rising 5.4 per cent for November on-year, short of the 9.4 per cent forecast by Bloomberg News, and imports rising 3.0 per cent on-year, also below the forecast.
In particular, imports of soybeans plunged by 38 per cent, while iron ore, coal and steel imports also fell. November's China numbers might add a sense of urgency.
The U.S. global trade deficit in goods and services increased to $55.5 billion in October from $54.6 billion in September, according to Census Bureau data.
"Slower exports and property investment will lead to a further slowdown in China's economy", Mr Hu said after the data was released.
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