The November surplus topped October's $31.6 billion.
November imports grew 5.3 percent year-on-year to $168.4 billion, leaving a trade surplus of $33.8 billion for November.
November's stellar export performance, which far exceeded market expectations of 7 percent, came largely as a result of improved data in the United States and the European Union, Liu Ligang, China economist at ANZ Banking Group, told the official Xinhua News Agency.
November's figure was the second straight month China's trade surplus had topped the $30 billion mark.
China's total foreign trade in the 11 months of this year was up 7.7 percent year-on-year to $3.8 trillion, against the government's target of 8 percent for the year.
Year-on-year exports to Europe rose 18.4 percent in November and those to the United States by 17.7 percent.
But the Wall Street Journal quoted economists as saying the current November's impressive figures also were helped by a weak November last year.
The New York Times reported that a research note by Liu Li-Gang of ANZ Banking Group stated China's trade surplus this year likely could exceed $240 billion, the highest level since 2008.