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 yesterday show that in November, exports to China reached a record $774 million.
Almost two thirds of that total came from dairy exports.
Imports fell 2.8% to $4.3 billion.
However, New Zealand special trade envoy Mike Petersen says other products are also making big gains in the Chinese market.
The figures were inadvertently released on Thursday by the Government statistician.
Statistics New Zealand had not intended to release the trade figures until January.