26 Jun 2015

Trade surplus posted in May

1:17 pm on 26 June 2015

New Zealand has posted a trade surplus, due to imports falling by more than exports.

Official figures show the surplus totalled $350 million in May.

Exports fell 5 percent to $4.4 billion, led by milk powder, butter and cheese slumping by 28 percent.

That offset gains in exports of fruit and meat products.

Imports fell by 7 percent to $4 billion, due to a decline in crude oil prices.

On an annual basis, the trade deficit narrowed slightly to $2.6 billion.

Senior economist at ANZ Bank Mark Smith said the deficit was set to widen further, despite the falling dollar providing some respite for exporters.

"It will take quite a while for a lower dollar to really kick-start the export sector and export earnings."