A growth in dairy, wood and wine exports led to a trade surplus of $578 million in April 2017, Stats NZ said today. The trade deficit fell $200 million to $3.5 billion in April after peaking earlier this year.
“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.”
Both imports and exports reached new highs for an April month, despite coinciding with Easter this year.
Imports were up 4.9 per cent to $4.2 billion. Imports of passenger motor cars increased 4.4 per cent to $440 million, and petrol and avgas imports for April rose 40 per cent year-on-year to $67 million.
Vehicles, parts and accessories imports for 12 months ending April 2017 were up 14 per cent compared to the previous year, hitting $8.13 billion. Mechanical machinery and equipment was up 1.3 per cent to $7.1 billion for the year. Imports for petroleum and products fell three percent to $4.7 billion.
Month-to-month, exports rose 9.8 per cent to $4.8 billion compared to April 2016, with Milk powder, butter, and cheese a standout, up 35 per cent to $289 million. Logs, wood and wood articles also rose, up 18 per cent to $61 million.