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Exports for the month of May in New Zealand’s economy surged to their second-highest reading for any single month, ticking upwards by 10% to clock in at $5.4 billion, bringing New Zealand’s Trade Balance to a higher-than-expected $294 million for May.

Key quotes

“The monthly trade balance was a surplus of $294 million (5.4 percent of exports), higher than the average monthly surplus in the last five May months.

For the year ended May 2018, the annual trade deficit was $3.6 billion (6.5 percent of exports). This compares with an annual trade deficit of $3.8 billion (7.7 percent of exports) in the year ended May 2017.

Overall exports were up $509 million (10 percent) to $5.4 billion, with meat exports having the largest increase.

Forestry products had the second-largest increase in exports, up $99 million (26 percent) to $477 million. The largest increases were to China, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The value of total imports rose $277 million (5.7 percent) in May 2018 to reach $5.1 billion, as New Zealand imported more cars, but fewer petroleum products than a year ago.

Imports of cars rose $78 million (17 percent) in May. This boosted overall imports of vehicles, parts “and accessories to $924 million, up $185 million compared with the same month last year.”