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Susan Kilsby, agriculture economist at ANZ, notes that New Zealand’s unadjusted monthly trade balance of $433m was well down on the previous month but slightly above their expectations.

Key Quotes

“Dairy export volumes were particularly high for this time of the season, while the lift in log exports aligned with expectations. The growth of the kiwifruit industry also contributed more than normal to exports. Kiwifruit returns exceeded $2.3 billion for the first time with the earlier maturing gold varieties accounting for more than half of the returns.”

“On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports decreased 7.8% m/m, while imports were largely stable. Values and volumes for the three major export categories being dairy, meat and forestry all fell in April, when measured on a seasonally adjusted basis.”

“Seasonally adjusted imports were virtually unchanged with just a 0.1% m/m gain. Imports of petrol, textiles and plastics were all strong in the month.”

“Looking forward, we expect to see export volumes drop away seasonally as we move towards the low production season for dairy. However, the later than usual meat processing season and elevated felling of forests will offset some of the seasonal weakness in dairy.”