New Zealand posted its eighth monthly trade surplus in June, led by overseas demand for the nation's primary products such as milk powder, frozen beef and kiwifruit.
The country had a trade surplus of $247 million in June, from a revised $270 million in May and $371 million a year earlier. The annual trade balance turned to a surplus of $1.2 billion from a deficit of $819 million a year earlier. The figures beat expectations for a monthly surplus of $150 million and an annual surplus of $1.15 billion in a Reuters poll of economists.
Demand for New Zealand's primary products saw exports rise 4.8 percent to $4.2 billion in June from the 12 months prior, compared with expectations of $4.28 billion in the Reuters poll.
Milk powder, butter and cheese led the export growth, up 34 per cent, followed by an 11 percent gain in meat and edible offal exporters, a 49 per cent rise in casein and caseinates and a 14 per cent increase in fruit exports.
Exports to China fell 1.5 per cent to $691 million in June, led softer demand for pine logs and food preparations but offset by a rise in milk powder.
Australia was New Zealand's biggest export destination in June, even as the value of goods slid 5.1 per cent to $740 million as the value of crude oil exports dropped.
Meanwhile, the value of exports to the US, New Zealand's third-largest export destination, surged 22 per cent to $452 million led by demand for frozen beef.
Imports into New Zealand rose 8.7 per cent in June to $3.947 billion, compared with $4.1 billion expected in the Reuters poll.
Imports were driven higher by aircraft, vehicles, food residues and inorganic chemicals.