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Monthly goods imports from China rise a record $430 million


Goods imports from China were up $430 million, reaching $1.5 billion in October 2018, Stats NZ said today.

This is the largest dollar value increase for monthly Chinese imports on record.

China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner. It is a key supplier of goods such as cellphones and computers, and is a big export market for dairy products, wood, and meat.

Exports to China rose $242 million to $1.2 billion when compared with the same month a year ago.

“October 2018 marks the 10-year anniversary of the New Zealand–China free trade agreement,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said.

“Two-way goods trade with China is continuing to strengthen. On an annual basis, imports from China are twice the value they were in the October 2008 year, while exports have more than quadrupled.”


Annual goods imports from China have increased $6.1 billion since the October 2008 year to $12.3 billion in the October 2018 year.

In the past decade, annual cellphone imports from China were up $644 million, to $781 million, while computer imports rose $479 million to $955 million.

Over the same period, annual goods exports to China increased $11.2 billion to reach $13.5 billion in the year ended October 2018. Milk powder, butter, and cheese led this rise (up $3.7 billion), with milk powder alone up $2.1 billion.

Logs, wood, and wood articles (up $2.6 billion) and meat and edible offal (up $1.8 billion) were also key contributors to the exports rise.

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