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China May exports up 1.1 pct y/y, top f'cast; imports fall 8.5 pct

BEIJING, June 10 (Reuters) - China's May exports unexpectedly rose 1.1% from a year earlier, while imports dropped a worse-than-expected 8.5%, official data showed on Monday.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $41.65 billion for the month, according to customs data.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected May shipments from the world's largest exporter to have fallen 3.8%, after a contraction of 2.7% percent in April.

Imports also were expected to have dropped 3.8%, reversing a 4% expansion in the preceding month. The trade surplus had been tipped at $20.5 billion last month from April's revised $13.83 billion.

Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated sharply last month after the Trump administration accused China of having "reneged" on promises to make structural changes to its economic practices.

U.S. President Donald Trump on May 10 slapped higher tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods and then took steps to levy duties on all remaining $300 billion Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with tariff hikes on U.S. goods. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)