Australian iron ore exports reached a record high of $10.9 billion in October, most of which was destined for China.

Preliminary trade figures for the month showed iron ore exports accounted for over a third of all exports, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

Gas exports were also up 18 per cent and meat was up 21 per cent.

Total exports increased by $1.8 billion or six per cent in October to $30.5 billion.

Imports rose by $2 billion in October or eight per cent to $25.7 billion.

Road vehicle imports rose 13 per cent to $393 million, the fifth consecutive monthly increase since the sharp decline in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imports of telecommunications and sound equipment increased by 28 per cent.

The preliminary trade series was established by the ABS to provide a more frequent understanding of the impact of the pandemic on the economy.