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China takes lead as New Zealand export destination

Source:   Time:

WELLINGTON, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- China has overtaken Australia to become New Zealand's top goods export destination on an annual basis for the first time, the New Zealand government statistics agency announced Thursday.

"China is now our top export destination on an annual basis, just under two years after it became our top annual imports partner in December 2011," Statistics New Zealand industry and labor statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said in a statement.

In November, goods exports were valued at 4.5 billion NZ dollars (3.68 billion U.S. dollars), up 17 percent year on year.

Exports to China hit record levels in October and November, with November exports hitting 1.22 billion NZ dollars (999.92 million U.S. dollars), up 79.8 percent year on year.

Dairy comprised 63 percent of the total exports to China, valued at 774 million NZ dollars (634.27 million U.S. dollars), in November, a record monthly value of dairy exports to China.

In the year to the end of November, exports to China soared by 41.5 percent to hit 9.41 billion NZ dollars (7.71 billion U.S. dollars).

The value of total imported goods in November was 4.3 billion NZ dollars (3.52 billion U.S. dollars), down 2.8 percent year on year.

The trade balance for November was a surplus of 183 million NZ dollars (149.96 million U.S. dollars), or 4.1 percent of exports, the first trade surplus for a November month since 1991.

New Zealand became the first developed nation to sign a free trade agreement with China in 2008.

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