China's exports declined 2.2 per cent year-on-year to $115 billion in November - the first monthly fall since June 2001, China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) said.
November exports were down 10.4 per cent month-on-month, reflecting the slump in US demand after the financial bubble burst.
China's exports rose 19.2 per cent year-on-year rise in October.
China's imports also recorded sharp declines compared to the previous month. Imports were also down 17.9 per cent year-on-year and down 19.5 per cent month-on-month at $75 billion.
Total trade volume during November stood at $189.89 billion, down 9 per cent year-on-year, GAC said.
The monthly trade surplus was still at a record high for the year, at $40 billion, up 52 per cent from last November, when it was $26.28 billion. China recorded trade surplus of $35.24 billion in October and $29.3 billion in September.
For the 11 months from January to November, China's foreign trade stood at $2.38 trillion, up 20.9 per cent year-on-year. Of this, exports totalled $1.32 trillion (up 19.3 per cent), and imports of $1.06 trillion (up 22.8 per cent), according to GAC figures.
Chin's cumulative trade surplus till November stood at $255.95 billion in the first 11 months, up 6.9 per cent or up $16.39 billion from a year earlier.