New Zealand Trade Surplus Widens in April


New Zealand trade surplus widened to NZD 433 million in April 2019 from NZD 200 million in the same month of the previous year and compared to market expectations of a NZD 400 million surplus. Exports jumped 11.7 percent year-on-year while imports rose 7.3 percent. The twelve-month trade balance recorded a NZD 5.5 billion gap compared to a NZD 3.8 billion shortfall a year earlier.

Exports increased 11.7 percent year-on-year to NZD 5.55 billion, after rising 16.7 percent in the previous month, mainly driven by higher sales of logs, wood & wood articles, which jumped 20.3 percent to NZD 0.48 billion. Also, sales went up for milk powder, butter & cheese (10.6 percent to NZD 1.29 billion); and fruit (11.2 percent to NZN 0.61 billion). Meanwhile, sales dropped for electrical machinery & equipment (-17.9 percent to NZN 0.08 billion) and wood pulp & waste paper (-28.6 percent to NZN 0.06 billion). 

By destination, exports climbed to South Korea (33.5 percent), China (29.3 percent), the US (18.3 percent) and Japan (8.5 percent), but fell to Australia (-3.9 percent) and the EU (-1.1 percent). 

Imports went up 7.3 percent to NZD 5.11 billion, after declining 3.5 percent in the prior month. Imports advanced mostly due to higher purchases of aircraft & parts (231.4 percent to NZN 0.19 billion); mechanical machinery & equipment (0.9 percent to NZN 0.69 billion); electrical machinery & equipment imports (22.1 percent to NZD 0.45 billion); textiles (15.4 percent to NZn 0.23 billion); and plastic & plastic articles (17.3 percent to NZN 0.20 billion). In contrast, purchases of vehicles, parts & accessories declined 21.8 percent to NZD 0.71 billion, due to an unusually high level in April 2018 when two additional vehicle carriers were unloaded, after shipment delays. 

By country of origin, imports rose from China (19.2 percent), the EU (18.8 percent), and Australia (17.8 percent), but decreased from Japan (-31.9 percent), South Korea (-13.2 percent) and the US (-6.6 percent).

New Zealand Trade Surplus Widens in April


Statistics New Zealand | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
5/24/2019 10:18:17 AM