26 Jul 2011

Dairy products drive June trade surplus

12:55 pm on 26 July 2011

Strong dairy exports helped New Zealand to post a trade surplus in June.

The seasonally-adjusted trade surplus of $161 million is a turnaround from the $206 million deficit recorded the previous month.

Exports rose a seasonally adjusted 1.2% during the month to $3.9 billion but were still down from a peak of $4.2 billion in April, the Statistics New Zealand figures show.

Imports, however, were a bigger influence on the trade balance for the month, slumping nearly 8% to $3.8 billion.

Goldman Sachs economist Philip Borkin says falls in exports of meat, forestry, aluminum, machinery and oil were offset by a strong jump in dairy exports.

The country's annual trade surplus broke the $1 billion mark for the third consecutive month but is down from its peak of $1.2 billion in April.

Prices for key exports such as dairy have eased in recent months and the dollar has surged, suggesting the economic boost from trade may now have peaked.