NZ April trade surplus shrinks on dairy exports

Published: Thu 24 May 2012 12:12 PM
NZ April trade surplus shrinks on dairy exports
By Hannah Lynch
May 24 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand posted a smaller-than-expected surplus in April, reflecting a drop in the value of exports of milk powder, butter and cheese.
The trade surplus was $355 million last month, according to Statistics New Zealand. Economists had expected a surplus of $500 million, according a Reuters survey. For the 12 months ended April, there was a trade deficit of $541 million.
A decline in the value of dairy exports comes as Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's biggest exporter, cut its forecast 2012 milk price and flagged lower payments in 2013. Prices in Fonterra's GlobalDairyTrade auction have dropped 41 percent during the past 12 months, reflecting a slide in commodity prices as traders factor in weaker demand from China and European uncertainty, which has helped drive up the US dollar.
"Most commodities for exports fell this month, with primary products driving the decrease, although it should be noted that April 2011 had the highest exports value for any month on record so far,” Neil Kelly, industry and labour statistics manager, said in a statement.
Exports decreased to $3.89 billion in April from $4.21 billion in March, falling 17 percent from April 2011's record high of $4.69 billion. Imports were $3.53 billion, down from $4.02 billion last month and little changed from a year earlier.
Exports of milk powder, butter and cheese fell by 25 percent last month, with the leading contributors' being unsweetened milk powder and anhydrous milk fat.
Meat and edible offal fell 26 percent, led by frozen cuts of lamb, while crude oil was down 51 percent. Casein and caseinates recorded the largest offsetting increase, up 36 percent.
Exports to Australia, the nation's biggest export partner, once again showed a decline, falling 13 percent, led by crude oil. New Zealand's second biggest export market China, also recorded a decrease, of 11 percent. Exports to Japan fell 20 percent on a variety of commodities, including logs, wood and wood articles.
Exports rose to Malaysia, the US and Libya.
A 21 percent gain in capital goods helped monthly imports edge up slightly from a year earlier.
Independent, Trustworthy New Zealand Business News
The Wellington-based BusinessDesk team provides a daily news feed for a serious business audience.
Contact BusinessDesk

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Snail's pace: Aucklanders face frustrating commute over Harbour Bridge
COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy
By: Statistics New Zealand
Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate
By: Joint Press Release
Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea
By: Ministry For Primary Industries
New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand
By: IDC New Zealand Ltd
Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed
By: Ministry of Health
New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs
By: New Zealand Hemp Industries Association Inc
One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs
By: Statistics New Zealand
ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast Shows NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain
Live Export Ship Carrying 5,800 New Zealand Cows Goes Missing In East China Sea
FMA Releases Report Into Active And Passive Fund Management
By: Financial Markets Authority
Engineers Assess Damage To Auckland Harbour Bridge After Truck Strike
By: NZ Transport Agency
Motorists Urged To Avoid Damaged Auckland Harbour Bridge
By: NZ Transport Agency
Harbour Bridge: Public Transport A Great Option And Plan Ahead
By: Auckland Transport
Second Harbour Crossing Needed Now, More Than Ever
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media