In dollar terms, exports climbed 6.9% year-over-year in October, data from the General Administration of Customs revealed.
Shipments were forecast to climb 7.1% after rising 8.1% in September.
Meanwhile, imports surged 17.2% in October from a year ago, marginally faster than the expected growth of 17.0%.
Consequently, the trade surplus totalled USD38.2 billion in October versus the expected level of USD39.1 billion. At the same time, the trade surplus with the US decreased to USD26.6 billion.
In renminbi terms, exports advanced 6.1% and imports climbed 15.9% annually. Economists had forecast 7.9% rise in exports and 19% increase in imports.
Most of the decline in annual growth was due to shifts in the timing of the Mid-Autumn Festival which meant that there were fewer working days last month than in October 2016, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
The big picture is that both outbound and inbound shipments have softened recently, a trend that continued last month, the economist added.
The economist said this reflects a slight easing of growth in other emerging markets along with weaker domestic demand as a result of slower infrastructure spending.