30 May 2011

Record monthly trade surplus in April

9:14 pm on 30 May 2011

Official figures show a record monthly trade surplus for April.

Statistics New Zealand says $1.1 billion more goods were exported than imported last month.

Exports rose 17%, or $691 million, on the same month last year to a record high of $4.7 billion.

April was the second consecutive month that exports hit a record high, after an 11% increase in March to $4.5 billion.

Radio New Zealand's economics correspondent says both those monthly figures were driven by higher exports of dairy products.

Imports also rose in April, up 7% on a year ago, to $3.5 billion, led by higher petrol imports.

The record monthly trade surplus pushed the annual surplus of exports over imports to $1.2 billion, the highest since 1994.

Export New Zealand's executive director Catherine Beard says prices for many raw commodities produced in New Zealand are booming.

"We have a big growing Asia on our geographic doorstep, increasing levels of income, high demand for protein and all the sorts of things that New Zealand happily grows quite well.

"That is quite positive - we feel quite hopeful that will be a continuing trend."