The primary sector continues to be the dominant driver of the economy, with dairy and cherry exports propelling China further ahead as New Zealand's top export destination in January.
Statistics New Zealand figures show exports of milk powder, butter, and cheese, as well as cherries, pushed China even further ahead than Australia as New Zealand's top export market.
The figures show the value and quantity of cherry exports hit record highs last month.
The value rose more than 50 percent to $55 million, and the quantity rose 30 percent.
Cherry export earnings and volumes were expected to rise again this month as the season closes.
The strength of exports in the horticulture sector saw an 84 percent rise in the profit for produce grower and distribution company, T & G Global.
It made a net profit of just over $18 million in the year ended December, driven by the volume and prices for pipfruit.
Premium wine company, Delegat Group, delivered a record first half profit, of around $19 million.
That was up 96 percent on a year ago, driven by record sales of its award winning Oyster Bay and Barossa Valley Estate wines.
It sold almost 1.3 million cases, boosting its sales by nearly a quarter.