The value of imported goods rose $263 million (7.4 percent) to $3.8 billion in April 2013, compared with April 2012, Statistics New Zealand said today.
Petroleum and products led the increase in imports, up $235 million, due to crude oil and diesel. Vehicles, parts, and accessories recorded the second-largest increase, up $68 million.
"The value of goods imported rose on the back of petroleum imports, which can fluctuate depending on the timing of shipments," industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "The trade surplus has reduced compared with the previous four April months."
Exported goods rose $83 million (2.2 percent) to $4.0 billion. Meat and edible offal led the rise, followed by petroleum and products.
The trade balance for April 2013 was a surplus of $157 million (4.0 percent of exports). April months have been in surplus since 2009.
After removing seasonal effects, exports decreased 8.6 percent in April 2013, compared with March 2013. Crude oil (which is not seasonally adjusted) led this decrease. Seasonally adjusted imports rose 1.5 percent in April 2013.
Overseas merchandise trade statistics remain provisional for the first three months after data is first released. For more information, see Why overseas merchandise trade data can change.