Dairy and meat products drove a record rise in New Zealand's manufacturing sales in the December quarter last year, the government statistics agency announced Monday. The volume of total manufacturing sales rose 5.7 percent, with meat and dairy product manufacturing sales up 15 percent, according to Statistics New Zealand. "The large meat and dairy volume increase is also seen in export volume rises for dairy and meat products," industry and labor statistics manager Blair Cardno said in a statement. Over the same period, dairy exports were up 23 percent and meat exports rose 5.5 percent. The sales volume for total manufacturing, excluding meat and dairy, was up 0.9 percent in the December quarter, following a 2.9- percent increase in the September quarter. The trend for the total manufacturing sales volume was rising after hitting a low point in the June 2013 quarter. The total manufacturing sales value rose 6.3 percent, or 1.5 billion NZ dollars (1.27 billion U.S. dollars), while sale of meat and dairy products were up 18 percent, or 1.3 billion NZ dollars ( 10.99 billion U.S. dollars), with dairy prices remaining at high levels. New Zealand milk powder exports to China hit a record level last year, driving up New Zealand exports overall, with almost half the country's milk powder exports going to China, Statistics New Zealand announced in January.