Dairy helps to lift October exports
Dairy products are leading the way in a 24 per cent leap in October exports, compared with the same month last year.
The country still ran a trade deficit of $319 million for the month, but the shortfall was just a third of the average in the past five Octobers.
October imports are recovering, up 16 per cent on a year ago, mainly due to higher imports of oil, cars and car parts, but imports are still well below peak levels seen two years ago.
Exports in October were worth $723 million more than the same month last year ( up 24 per cent) according to Statistics New Zealand says.
The total value of goods exported for the month was $3.7 billion.
"Strong dairy exports led the increase in October," overseas trade manager Neil Kelly said.
"The trend in export values has been rising since October 2009 and is similar to the previous peak in late 2008."
The milk powder, butter, and cheese commodity group was the major contributor to the increase in October export values, led by unsweetened whole milk powder.
The total value of goods imported for October was up $541 million (16 per cent) from October 2009, to $4 billion.
Crude oil, and vehicles, parts, and accessories, were the leading contributors to the increase in imports.
The trend for imports values has been flat since May 2010 and is 15 per cent below its peak in September 2008.
In October 2010, the trade balance was a deficit of $319 million (8.7 per cent of the value of exports), less than one-third of the average deficit of 29 per cent of exports over the previous five October months.
The October trade balance has always been in deficit.
The annual trade balance for the year ended October 2010 was a surplus of $1.2 billion (2.8 per cent of the value of exports).
This compares with the average deficit of 14 per cent of exports for the five previous October years.