China's exports to North Korea grew at a faster pace last month than in July, customs data showed on Wednesday, as bilateral trade resumed and Pyongyang gradually reopened from the COVID pandemic.

Chinese outbound shipments to North Korea in August grew 4.1% to $162.9 million from the month prior, quickening from a 1.2% month-on-month gain in July, data released by China's General Administration of Customs showed.

With trade between the two neighbours resuming gradually, North Korea opened its border to some passenger travel as an Air Koryo flight from Pyongyang landed in Beijing on August 22 for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns started in 2020.

In August, Chinese shipments of processed hair and wool for use in wigs was the biggest item in value terms, followed by rice, soybean oil and wheat flour as Pyongyang has suffered serious food shortages for decades.

Overall exports from China to North Korea hit $1.24 billion during the January-August period, up 190.6% from the same period a year earlier.

(Reporting by Ellen Zhang and Ryan Woo; editing by Christina Fincher)