27 Jun 2013

Trade surplus in May

7:10 pm on 27 June 2013

New Zealand recorded a trade surplus for May following a fall in the value of exports to four of the country's top five export destinations, except China.

Official figures show there was a surplus of $71 million, the fourth consecutive year that exports have exceeded imports for that month.

Exports fell by 8% to $4.1 billion, led by a drop in sales of crude oil and beef. Imports fell 4% to $4 billion.

On an annual basis, the trade balance recorded a deficit of $869 million.

Westpac economist Nathan Penny said the figures were weaker than forecast.

He said the drought affected meat sales, with fewer stock available for slaughter, while higher dairy prices have not yet filtered through to export receipts.

On a seasonally adjusted basis there was a deficit of $317 million.