China's export growth fizzled in September to post a surprise fall, data showed, a disappointing end to a recent run of indicators that had signaled the world's No. 2 economy gaining strength.
The Customs Administration said on Saturday China's exports dropped 0.3 percent in September from a year earlier, sharply confounding market expectations for a rise of 6 percent, and marking the worst performance in three months.
(Read more: China's export engine may have stalled in September)
Imports rose 7.4 percent last month from a year ago, a shade better than forecasts for a 7 percent rise, leaving China with a trade surplus of $15.2 billion for the month. Analysts had expected a trade surplus of $27.7 billion.
Customs officials did not immediately explain the unexpected drop in exports, but Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao, economists at ANZ Bank, said the volume of cargo moved at Chinese ports had indeed slowed in September, in part due to a stronger yuan.