Updated: 2013-03-26 ( Xinhua) - China's demand for dairy products drove an 8 percent rise in New Zealand goods exports last month, the New Zealand government statistics agency announced Tuesday.
The value of exported goods rose by N$290 million ($242.09 million) year on year to NZ$3.9 billion in February, led by an increase of 49 percent, or NZ$259 million, in exports to China, according to Statistics New Zealand.
The increase in exports to China was led by whole milk powder, up NZ$106 million, or 80 percent, with quantities up 99 percent, followed by rises in pinus radiata logs and sheep meat.
"China drove the overall rise in exports," industry and labor statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said in a statement.
The value of imported goods rose by NZ$86 million, or 2.5 percent, to NZ$3.5 billion, led by consumption goods, which were up by NZ$90 million, while capital goods fell by NZ$29 million and intermediate goods fell by NZ$15 million.
China, New Zealand's main import partner, led the rise in imports too, with values up NZ$104 million, or 19 percent, over a range of commodities, including clothing and furniture.
New Zealand had a trade surplus last month of NZ$414 million, or 11 percent of exports.
February months had been in surplus since 2007 and the trend for exports was 0.7 percent lower than its highest-ever peak in November 2011.
The opposition Green Party said the figures showed annual manufacturing exports values down 6 percent over the year, making it the lowest February number since 2004.
"The simplification of our export strategy is concerning. A growing reliance on one or two agricultural exports will make our economy more vulnerable to commodity price swings and adverse events like drought," Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said in a statement.