BEIJING--China's foreign trade will likely still face downward pressure in the final months of the year, partly because of high base effects from last year, the country's commerce ministry said in a biannual report released Wednesday.

The ministry said it expects "low-level" growth in imports in the fourth quarter, saying continuing weakness in processing trade might outweigh support from firmer commodities prices.

Exports will likely improve thanks to the coming holiday season, when external demand normally picks up, the ministry said in the report.

China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index, released Tuesday, rose to the highest level in more than two years, but its component measuring new exportorders dropped to a three-month low, pointing to sluggish external demand.

--Liyan Qi

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 02, 2016 04:12 ET (08:12 GMT)

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