NZ posts eighth monthly trade surplus

A straddle Carrier lifts shipping containers at the Fergusson container terminal at the Ports of Auckland. Photo / Richard Robinson.
A straddle Carrier lifts shipping containers at the Fergusson container terminal at the Ports of Auckland. Photo / Richard Robinson.

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.

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- BusinessDesk

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