Exports to China hit record level

Last updated 11:32 27/02/2014

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A record percentage of New Zealand exports went to China last month, leading to this country's highest trade surplus for January.

A total of $4.1 billion of exports left New Zealand last month, up $729 million on January 2013, Statistics New Zealand said today

China accounted for $1.2b worth of exports, up $590m on January 2013.

A $469m rise in milk powder, butter, and cheese products led the boost in exports to China, a record 30 per cent of New Zealand's total January exports.

Nearly half of the country's dairy exports went to China in the month.

Exports to Australia, however, fell $80m, to $556m, due to a drop in unwrought gold and silver, and crude oil.

Statistics New Zealand industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said exports to China were more than double the value of those to Australia.

Imported goods in January were also up $129m, to $3.8b for the month.

Capital goods, particularly well-sinking and boring machinery, as well as mechanical shovels and goods transport vehicles led the rise in imports.

The trade balance for January, 2014, was a $306m surplus.

This was the highest trade surplus for the month of January ever recorded, Statistics NZ said.

Seasonally adjusted exports from December to January, however, fell 0.6 per cent, while imports dropped 5.4 per cent.

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- Fairfax Media

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