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China cements top position as NZ export destination in Nov

China cements top position as NZ export destination in November

By Tina Morrison

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - 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 percent to $803 million in November from the year earlier month, taking annual exports to the country to $8.53 billion, Statistics New Zealand said. Exports to Australia slipped 4.1 percent to $726 million in the month, for an annual total of $8.33 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 $52 million more in annual exports than Australia, and that gap widened to $200 million in the latest November figures. China is also New Zealand's largest market for imports.

New Zealand recorded a trade deficit of $779 million in November, narrower than the $810 million deficit expected in a Reuters poll of economists, with both imports and exports higher than expected. The annual deficit of $3.68 billion, compares with expectations in the Reuters poll for a $3.76 billion deficit.

In the month of November, New Zealand exports rose 1 percent to $4.08 billion from the year earlier month, ahead of expectations for $3.9 billion.The increase was led by exports of meat and edible offal, the country's second-largest export commodity, which gained 23 percent to $502 million, helped by exports of beef and lamb. Fruit exports jumped 65 percent to $59 million, led by kiwifruit.

In contrast, exports of dairy products, the country's largest commodity export, declined 3.3 percent to $1.2 billion as prices fell while quantities increased 15 percent.

Meanwhile, imports slid 12 percent to $4.86 billion from November last year, ahead of expectations of $4.75 billion. The gain was led by a 42 percent increase in capital goods, amid increased shipments of transport equipment and machinery and plant. Imports of consumption goods rose 19 percent, while imports of fuels, lubricants and crude oil declined.


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