China has overtaken Australia to become the number one export market for New Zealand on an annual basis.
China has been New Zealand's main source of imports since 2011 and trade figures from Statistics New Zealand showed that in November, exports to China reached a record 774 million NZ dollars (634 million U.S. dollars).
In the year to the end of November, goods exported were valued at 4.5 billion NZ dollars, up 647 million NZ dollars, or 17 percent on last year. Almost two thirds of that total came from dairy exports.
Imports fell 2.8 percent to 4.3 billion NZ dollars.
However, New Zealand special trade envoy Mike Petersen says other products are also making big gains in the Chinese market.
Meanwhile, exporters are growing in confidence.
An Export New Zealand survey shows confidence among exporters is up 25 percent on the same time last year.
Executive officer Catherine Lye says the number of exporters planning on hiring new staff is also up 10 percent.