Customs data released Tuesday also indicated an unexpectedly strong showing for imports, which grew by 38.1 per cent.
Experts put the strong growth rates down to global demand and a low comparison base from last year, when the coronavirus crisis saw the collapse of China’s economy – the world’s second-largest.
Overall, foreign trade increased by 34.2 per cent in March.
March marked the ninth month of consecutive growth for Chinese exports. Imports increased for the sixth month in a row.
In the first two months of the year, China’s exports jumped by 60.6 per cent. Imports rose 22.2 per cent in January and February.
For the entire first quarter, there was an increase in exports of 49 per cent, and an increase in imports of 28 per cent, the customs authority reported.
Despite the trade war and punitive tariffs imposed by the United States, China’s exports to the US rose by as much as 74.7 per cent in the three months. Imports from the US increased by 69.2 per cent.
In Europe, Germany also benefitted from the strong recovery of its most-important trading partner. Imports from Germany rose by 28.4 per cent in the first quarter, according to the customs figures.
In 2020, China was the only major economy in the world to see growth.