China was New Zealand's top trading partner in 2019, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday. Since 2017, China has been New Zealand's top trading partner.
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CHINA HIT: Factory closures in China due to the coronavirus have temporarily hit demand for milk powder.

In the year ending December 2019, 23 percent of New Zealand’s total goods and services exports and 16 percent of imports by value were with China. Two-way trade in goods and services with China was worth 33.4 billion NZ dollars (20.9 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019, with a trade surplus of 6.8 billion NZ dollars, statistics showed.

New Zealand’s trade surplus with all countries was 2.6 billion NZ dollars at the end of 2019, Stats NZ said.

New Zealand’s top four exports to China were dairy products, wood, meat, and travel services, it said.

“The latest annual figures, from before the outbreak of the COVID-19, show that China is an important market for both goods and services. About a third of our dairy exports go to China, almost 60 percent of our forestry products and over 40 percent of our meat,” international statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said in a statement.

“Nineteen percent of spending by overseas visitors in New Zealand was by Chinese visitors,” Dolan said.

Meanwhile, China is New Zealand’s second-largest source of imports.

“New Zealand imports from China include a wide range of products for our homes and businesses. Nearly two-thirds of cellphones and over 70 percent of computers were imported from China in the December 2019 year,” Dolan said.

The delay in details being issued on the proposed dairy reduction scheme is “playing with the futures” of farm families, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

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