NZ trade surplus wider than expected
Wed, 25 Jul 2012 12:12p.m.
New Zealand's trade surplus was wider than expected in June as the country's dairy producers sold more product overseas.
The surplus was $331 million last month, up from a revised $232m in May, according to Statistics New Zealand.
That's wider than the $134m forecast in a Reuters survey of economists.
The annual deficit of $747m, or 7.9 percent of exports, was smaller than the expected $870m shortfall.
Exports rose 6.2 percent to $4.2 billion in June, with a 9.9 percent lift in foreign sales of milk powder, butter and cheese to $979m, and a 25 percent gain in log, wood and wood article sales to $312m.
New Zealand producers sold a seasonally adjusted 240,000 tonnes of milk powder, butter and cheese in June, up 24 percent from the same month a year earlier, while log and wood quantities were 49 percent higher than a year earlier at 1.72 million tonnes.
Dairy products, including casein and caseinates, made up 27 percent of New Zealand's annual $46.68b exports.
Statistics NZ said the trend for monthly exports of milk powder, butter and cheese has been declining since a record high in November 2011.
The country's exporters increased the value of sales into China 58 percent to $602m in June, taking annual exports to $6.12b.
The increase in foreign sales to Asia offset a 21 percent slump in exports to the European Union, as that region contends with sovereign debt woes, eroding its ability to import goods.
The value of New Zealand's imports rose 3 percent to $3.87b with an increase in the value of vehicle parts and crude oil.
Last month, the New Zealand dollar was 1.1 percent higher on a trade-weighted basis than in May, and 0.7 percent higher than June 2011.
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