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Higher dairy, wood, and wine exports lift trade surplus
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  24 May 2017

Overseas Merchandise Trade: April 2017  –  Media Release

More dairy, wood, and wine exports in April 2017 led to a goods trade surplus of $578 million, Stats NZ said today.

"In April we had the largest monthly trade surplus since 2015," international trade statistics senior manager Daria Kwon said. "This trimmed back the annual deficit, which reached an eight-year high in February." 

The annual trade deficit reduced to $3.5 billion in April from $3.7 billion in March. In February 2017 it peaked at $3.8 billion, the highest trade deficit in almost eight years.

April's goods trade surplus was the largest monthly surplus since March 2015 and the largest April surplus since April 2011. Easter fell in April this year, but the holiday appeared to have little impact on exports. Both exports and imports reached new highs for an April month.

Goods exports in April 2017 were worth $4.8 billion, up $423 million (9.8 percent) from April 2016. The only two months with higher values were March 2014 ($5.0 billion) and March 2015 ($4.9 billion).

The top-five export commodities all rose compared with April 2016. Milk powder, butter, and cheese continued the increases seen in recent months, up 35 percent on the back of higher prices. Logs, wood, and wood articles rose 18 percent, with quantities up at a similar rate. Wine values rose 20 percent with quantities up 40 percent.

Goods imports were worth $4.2 billion, up $195 million (4.9 percent) from April last year. The main movements were intermediate goods (led by petroleum) and capital goods (led by mobile phones, portable computers, and tractors).

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Tehseen Islam, 03 964 8320, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 24 May 2017

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