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New Zealand’s April trade surplus of $263m was stronger than expected with broad-based strength across most sectors, notes Con Williams, Agri Economist at ANZ.  

Key Quotes

“However, due to a boomer the year before the annual trade deficit pushed back to recent year highs of -$3.8 billion.The big picture view remains the same with broad-based strength across most export sectors. China remains in the driver’s seat, but the more synchronised growth picture over the last year has supported growth to most major markets.”

In seasonally adjusted terms export values rose 7.2% m/m in April.  The charge was led by kiwifruit with export values up 50% y/y. This was partly due to an earlier harvest than last year, but also strong revenue prospects (prices and volumes).”

It was a similar story to last month on the import side with crude/petroleum and capital imports both notably strong.  In seasonally adjusted terms imports increased 0.8% (after a 7.3% increase in March). Crude imports remained strong, supported by higher local prices and some catch-up from lower volumes being imported earlier in the year.”