New Zealand exports to China soars in January
WELLINGTON - Exports to China rose 31 percent to 1.3 billion NZ dollars (800 million U.S. dollars) in January 2020 compared with January 2019, led by increases in dairy, meat, and logs, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Thursday.
This was the biggest increase in dollar value for any New Zealand export market in January and accounted for most of the lift in total exports. Trade data for January 2020 covers the period just before travel restrictions were imposed after the coronavirus outbreak in China, Stats NZ said.
"China is New Zealand's top trading partner and exports have grown strongly over the past three years, continuing into the first month of 2020," international statistics manager Darren Allan said in a statement.
China is an especially important market for New Zealand's top three exports, accounting for more than a quarter of dairy, about half of all meat, and almost two-thirds of wood exports in January, statistics show.
"We will see any initial economic impact of coronavirus in February trade figures. This may reflect a change in demand because of the extended Chinese New Year holiday and quarantine imposed in some areas in China," Allan said.
In January 2020, New Zealand exported 27 percent of its total exports to China alone. On an annual basis, 28 percent of New Zealand's total exports were to China, he said.
Total imports from China in January 2020 were worth 1.1 billion NZ dollars, which is 22 percent of New Zealand's total monthly imports. On an annual basis, 20 percent of New Zealand's total imports were from China, statistics showed.
Imports from China make up most imports of all cell phones and computers coming into New Zealand, Allan said.