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Chinese demand for Australia’s resource commodities has been supporting the nation’s exports and economy, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Glenn Stevens says.

Mr Stevens said an emerging China had helped cushion the nation from the global economic downturn and while its growth had slowed during the crisis, it was recovering strongly.

“It was certainly true that I was in the optimistic camp on China because we could see then [late last year] a certain indication that the drop-off in Chinese production was starting to reverse,” Mr Stevens told the House of Representatives economics committee meeting in Sydney on Friday.

“That certainly has continued with a vengeance since then and actually in the June quarter the Chinese economy, we estimate, grew by four per cent in the quarter.

“They can’t keep that up, but that is a pretty strong result and it has affected exports.”

RBA assistant governor of financial systems Philip Lowe told the committee China’s demand for Australian resources has grown from four per cent of exports to 23 per cent in the past 10 years.

He said Australia’s export performance has been remarkable.

“What has happened here is truely remarkable,” Mr Lowe said.

“Australia has been able to sell more goods to the world in which global trade has collapsed and industrial production has collapsed.

“There’s a number of reasons for that, but the main on is China.”