Since it began preparing for the winter early in 2018, total natural gas imports for past year soared by nearly 32 percent from 2017 to 90.39 million tons, solidifying China's position as the world's biggest importer of the fuel.
China imported 30 percent more crude oil in December than a year earlier, Reuters reports, citing fresh customs data.
That compared with about $275.81 billion in 2017.
China's exports grew by 9.9 percent to $2.48 trillion, and imports increased by 15.8 percent to $2.14 trillion, he added.More news: Police respond to active shooting at New Jersey UPS facility
"China's foreign trade has developed in a steady manner with progress witnessed, reaching a record high in import and export volume", said Li Kuiwen, spokesman for the customs administration.
The world's second largest economy stuttered in December, suffering its worst trading month in two years.
The surplus surged despite the Trump administration imposing tariffs on almost $250 billion of goods made in China.
Trump wants Beijing to buy more American goods to narrow the yawning trade gap and allow foreign players better access and protection in the Chinese market. China's surplus is the U.S.'s trade deficit.More news: All-New 2020 Ford Explorer ST Is Ford's Most Powerful SUV Ever
But a slew of bad data has added to concerns about China's economy, which is expected to have grown around 6.5% in 2018, down from 6.9% in 2017 and the weakest rate in nearly three decades.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed China's trade surplus with the US and the country's allegedly unfair trade practices.
In 2018, the United States imposed billions of dollars worth of tariffs on Chinese products, prompting retaliation from Beijing and a trade war that analysts fear could escalate further and damage the global economy.More news: Concept This Is Cadillac's New Electric Crossover