30 Apr 2012

Commodity prices curb export returns

3:15 pm on 30 April 2012

The decline in global commodity prices continues to curb returns from New Zealand's exports.

Figures from Statistics New Zealand show a seasonally adjusted deficit of $787 million in the three months to March, reversing three successive quarterly trade surpluses.

Export values fell 6%, led by declines in dairy products, crude oil and fruit.

Imports rose 3%, due to higher crude prices and volumes.

ANZ New Zealand senior economist Mark Smith, says higher volumes of milk powder, butter and cheese had offset declines in global dairy prices, but that's now come to an end

On an annual basis, New Zealand recorded a trade surplus of $207 million.

For the month, the surplus stood at $134 million, after a surplus of $202 million in February.