China's exports rise in 2020 on stay-home demand

China's exports rose in 2020, helped by strong demand for masks and medical devices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Customs authorities say the exports increased by 3.6 percent from the previous year to a record high of 2.59 trillion dollars.

The officials also cite brisk demand for personal computers and other electronics devices from consumers around the world spending more time at home.

Imports dropped by 1.1 percent to 2.05 trillion dollars. As a result, China's trade surplus last year came in at 535 billion dollars.

A spokesperson from the General Administration of Customs was upbeat about the outlook for 2021.

Li Kuiwen said, "The world economy is expected to recover, and China's domestic economy will resume steady growth. We think this will provide strong support for growth in overseas trade."

China imported more soybeans and pork from the United States last year, following the Phase 1 bilateral trade agreement in January 2020.

Still, the country's trade surplus with the US widened by 7 percent to about 310 billion dollars.

The imbalance is likely to remain a sticking point between the world's two biggest economies after the US administration of Joe Biden comes to power next week.