Overall, New Zealand’s trade surplus with the rest of the world last year stood at 3.7 billion NZ dollars (2.64 billion U.S. dollars), according to Statistics New Zealand.
Total exports were 70.1 billion NZ dollars (50.05 billion U.S. dollars) and total imports were 66.4 billion NZ dollars (47.41 billion U.S. dollars).
The top export destination was Australia, with a value of 12.8 billion NZ dollars (9.13 billion U.S. dollars), followed by China at 12.3 billion NZ dollars (8.77 billion U.S. dollars).
New Zealand sent 2.7 billion NZ dollars (1.92 billion U.S. dollars) of dairy products to China in 2016 year – its largest export earner – up from 2.4 billion NZ dollars (1.71 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015.
New Zealand ran a trade deficit with the European Union, its biggest imports provider.
«Europeans are big buyers of New Zealand meat and more of them are travelling to New Zealand,» international statistics senior manager Daria Kwon said in a statement.
«However, the trade balance overall is in the EU’s favor due to our imports from there.»
New Zealand imported 11.7 billion NZ dollars (8.35 billion U.S. dollars) worth of goods and services from the EU in 2016, which accounted for a sixth of total imports, but it exported 8.3 billion NZ dollars (5.92 billion U.S. dollars) of goods and services to the EU, leaving a deficit of 3.4 billion NZ dollars (2.43 billion U.S. dollars).
«We spent more on importing cars from the EU than they spent on importing meat from New Zealand,» Kwon said.
However, New Zealand had trade surpluses with 16 of its top 25 trading partners in 2016, including Australia, China, the United States, and Japan.
The three largest goods import expenses were electrical machinery and equipment from China, vehicles, parts and accessories from Japan and vehicles, parts and accessories from the EU.