Reporting from Beijing — China's exports rose 46% in February from a year earlier, beating expectations and setting the stage for more calls to increase the value of the Chinese currency, analysts said.
The increase, announced Wednesday, was driven by heightened demand from the United States, the European Union and Japan.
Trade tensions have mounted over China's artificially low currency, the yuan, also known as the renminbi.
Competing exporters say it gives China an unfair advantage at a time when the rest of the globe is still seeking to recover from the financial crisis.
Chinese policymakers say they cannot consider appreciation until economic conditions are more stable.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said last week the country would keep the value of the yuan at an "appropriate and balanced level" this year. February's increase marks the third consecutive month exports have grown from the same month a year earlier.
"The strong export recovery should provide support for those who advocate for a resumption" of the appreciation of the yuan, said Tao Wang, head of China Economic Research for UBS Securities, in a report released Wednesday.