Exports increased 8.5 percent year-on-year to a record high of NZD 5.81 billion in May 2019, after a downwardly revised 10.8 percent in the previous month and above market consensus of NZD 5.61 billion, mainly driven by higher sales of milk powder, butter & cheese, which jumped 15.2 percent to NZD 1.29 billion. Also, sales rose for preparations of milk, cereals, fluor & starch (41.3 percent); meat & edible offal (1.3 percent); fruit (8.8 percent); and fish, crustaceans, & molluscs (35.3 percent), while exports of mechanical machinery & equipment dropped 3.9 percent.
By destination, exports went up to China (29.1 percent), South Korea (15.7 percent), Japan (12.5 percent), and the US (11.8 percent). In contrast, sales fell to Australia (-2.4 percent) and the EU (-8.1 percent).
Imports advanced 7.6 percent year-on-year to NZD 5.54 billion, after rising 7.4 percent in the prior month, beating expectations of NZD 5.40 billion. Purchases were mainly boosted by petroleum & products, up 47.8 percent to NZD 0.72 billion, due to a planned maintenance shutdown of the Marsden Point oil refinery in the same month of 2018; aircraft and parts (87.5 percent); and mechanical machinery and equipment (4.6 percent). On the other hand, imports of vehicles were down 19.9 percent to NZD 0.74 billion and purchases of electrical machinery & equipment declined 4.0 percent to NZD 0.44 billion.
By country of origin, imports rose from Australia (8.2 percent), the US (8.1 percent), China (5.1 percent), and the EU (3.5 percent).