WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - New Zealand's exports to China rose 45 percent last year thanks to soaring demand for milk powder.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) New Zealand's exports to China rose 45 percent last year thanks to soaring demand for milk powder.

Figures released Friday by Statistics New Zealand show that China surpassed Australia for the first time on an annual basis as New Zealand's top export market.

In 2013, China imported $8.1 billion worth of New Zealand goods, up from $5.6 billion the previous year. About 40 percent of those imports were of milk powder.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's exports to Australia were down 8 percent at $7.5 billion and exports to the U.S. were down 4 percent at $3.3 billion.

New Zealand posted a slim trade deficit for the year after exporting a total $39.4 billion worth of goods and importing $39.5 billion.