China's exports were valued at $185.99 billion in July, up 5.1 percent relative to the same month of 2012, the Chinese customs agency said Thursday.

That sector rebounded after exports fell by 3.1 percent year-on-year in June, the biggest drop in the past four years.

The customs agency, meanwhile, announced that imports totaled $168.17 billion in July, a 10.9 percent increase compared to the same month of last year.

China's foreign trade grew 7.8 percent year-on-year last month after declining by 2 percent in June.

In the first half of the year, the Asian giant's foreign trade volume nearly hit $2 trillion, up 8.6 percent from the first six months of 2012.

That was above Beijing's 8 percent annual growth target for 2013, a goal Chinese authorities say will be "difficult to achieve" considering the discouraging growth prospects for the remainder of the year.

Weak foreign demand - especially from China's main trade partner, the European Union - weighed on the Asian nation's exports last year.

The country's overall foreign trade volume rose just 6.2 percent over that 12-month period, far below the growth rate in previous years and beneath the 10 percent target set for 2012. EFE