(Australian Associated Press)
China cemented its position as New Zealand’s top export destination in November, as increased shipments of milk powder, butter and beef to Asia’s largest economy contrasted with a decline in crude oil sales to Australia.
Goods exported to China soared 17 per cent to $NZ803 million ($A756 million) in November from the year earlier month, taking annual exports to the country to $NZ8.53 billion, Statistics New Zealand said. Exports to Australia slipped 4.1 per cent to $NZ726 million in the month, for an annual total of $NZ8.33 million, the agency said.
China had fallen behind Australia as New Zealand’s top export destination from March through September this year as dairy exports to the world’s second-largest economy waned, however it returned to the top spot in October, taking $NZ52 million more in annual exports than Australia, and that gap widened to $NZ200 million in the latest November figures.
China is also New Zealand’s largest market for imports.
In the month of November, New Zealand exports rose 1 per cent to $NZ4.08 billion from the year earlier month, ahead of expectations for $NZ3.9 billion.
The increase was led by exports of meat and edible offal, the country’s second-largest export commodity, which gained 23 per cent to $NZ502m. Fruit exports jumped 65 per cent to $NZ59 million, led by kiwifruit.
In contrast, exports of dairy products, the country’s largest commodity export, declined 3.3 per cent to $NZ1.2 billion as prices fell while quantities increased 15 per cent.
Meanwhile, imports slid 12 per cent to $NZ4.86 billion from November last year, ahead of expectations of $NZ4.75b. The gain was led by a 42 per cent increase in capital goods, amid increased shipments of transport equipment and machinery and plant.
Imports of consumption goods rose 19 per cent, while imports of fuels, lubricants and crude oil declined.