China's trade surplus with the United States hit a fresh record high over the first half of the year, official data indicated Friday, even as overall activity slowed amid the ongoing tariff disputes between the world's two biggest economies.

China's General Administration of Customs said the yuan-denominated U.S. trade surplus rose 12% over the six months ending in June to 954.81 billion despite the impact of tariffs on around $250 billion in China-made goods put in place by the White House. In U.S. dollar terms, the first half surplus was pegged at $140.48 billion, up 5% from the same period last year and nearly 20% higher from the first half of 2017.

A customs spokesperson told Reuters that first half exports to the U.S. fell 2.6% in yuan-measured terms, however, while imports slumped by nearly 26% from the same period last year amid the simmering trade dispute between Washington and Beijing. 

For the month of June, the first full period under which fresh tariffs of 25% were placed on China-made goods heading to the United States, China's U.S. trade surplus rose 11.22% from May to $29.92 billion.

China's January to June soybean imports, a key component of its trade dispute with the United States, were pegged at 38.27 million tons, customs data indicated. That's a pace that is just ahead of last year's 2018 total of 69.2 million tons, which was the lowest since 2008.

Mexico is doing great at the Border, but China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would. Hopefully they will start soon!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019

China's January to June soybean imports, a key component of its trade dispute with the United States, were pegged at 38.27 million tons, customs data indicated. That's a pace that is just ahead of last year's 2018 total of 69.2 million tons, which was the lowest since 2008.

China's import of key #commodities year-to-date versus same time last year pic.twitter.com/GKmp06YrUc

— Ole S Hansen (@Ole_S_Hansen) July 12, 2019

China said overall exports for the first half of the year were 6.1% higher than through the same six month period in 2018, while imports edged 1.4% higher despite a weakening yuan, which has slipped by 0.6% against the U.S. dollar since late May. 

China's year-to-date trade activity jumped 3.9% to just over $2.16 trillion, while its trade surplus with economies around the world surged by 41.6% in yuan terms to 1.23 trillion.