Hong Kong (CNN) -- China's trade surplus widened to $27.67 billion in September from $26.66B the previous month, the Chinese government reported Saturday.
Exports surged almost 10% in September to $186.35B, compared to the same time last year. This increase follows a year-on-year gain of just 2.7% in August.
Imports also rose in September -- up 2.4% -- after three months of consecutive falls. Total foreign trade for September increased by 6.3% to $345.03B.
In the first three quarters this year, China's foreign trade expanded by 6.2 percent to $2.84 trillion, giving the country a trade surplus of $148.31B. Exports rose 7.4 percent while imports gained 4.8 percent.
However, China's trade with its largest trade partner, the European Union, fell by 2.7% over the nine months from January. The positive overall trade figures may be attributed to a staggering 9.1% increase in China's trade with the United States, its second largest trading partner.
China's trade with Japan suffered over the nine month period, falling 1.8% to $248.76B. In recent months, tension has been rising between the two countries over a set of contested islands in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan.
The dispute sparked hundreds of protests across China and calls for a boycott of Japanese-made goods. During September, sales of Japanese cars fell between 35% and 50%, according to earnings reports from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi.
However, the short-term impact of the dispute unrest was expected to be limited, according to a report released last month by credit rating and research company Moody's. The report said that the longer-term effect of the dispute was harder to predict, but the anti-Japanese sentiment in China could lead to loss of access for Japanese manufactured goods.