China’s exports remained robust in July despite losing some steam, customs data showed on Saturday, with analysts noting a rebound in port activity but warning that the recent spread of the Delta variant could act as a drag on growth. Outbound shipments from the world’s second-largest economy have remained resilient this year, boosted by demand for goods like medical gear and electronics needed to work from home — with a resurgence in coronavirus cases elsewhere increasing reliance on Chinese products. With strict lockdowns and mass testing, business activity has largely returned to normal in China, although the country is now stepping up measures to contain the spread of the Delta variant with local outbreaks detected in more than a dozen provinces. But trade remained strong in July, with exports growing slightly less than expected at 19.3pc from a year ago, said the customs administration. A poll of analysts had forecast the rise at 19.9pc on-year, after a surprise spike of 32.2pc in June. Imports, meanwhile, grew 28.1pc from the same period in the previous year, official data showed. With the latest figures, China’s overall trade surplus came in at $56.6 billion in July, up from $51.5 billion in June. Electronic products continued to support export growth in the first seven months of the year even as demand for mask exports eased from the previous year, official data showed. ANZ Research Asia senior strategist Irene Cheung noted this week that there has been a “rebound in port activities” following previous disruption. “On the other hand, imports could have received a boost from the increase in commodity prices,” she added. China has been working to temper rising costs of bulk commodities, which have piled pressure on smaller enterprises.