Dairy leads increase in exports for the March quarter

Friday 29 April 2011, 2:30PM
By Statistics New Zealand


The seasonally adjusted value of merchandise exports increased 3.2 percent ($354 million) to $11.6 billion in the March 2011 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

“Higher quantities of milk powder, butter, and cheese led the increase in export values for the March 2011 quarter,” overseas trade manager Neil Kelly said. “Crude oil and logs, wood, and wood articles also recorded notable increases in values.”

The total value of goods imported, after adjusting for seasonal effects, increased 8.9 percent to $12.0 billion in the March 2011 quarter, led by a 13 percent increase in intermediate goods. The largest increases in intermediate goods were crude oil and processed industrial supplies, up 31 percent ($306 million) and 6.8 percent ($154 million), respectively.

The December 2010 and March 2011 quarters both included one-off imports of aircraft. Excluding these imports, the value of goods imported increased 7.1 percent from the December 2010 quarter.

The seasonally adjusted trade balance for the March 2011 quarter was a deficit of $428 million, equivalent to 3.7 percent of exports. Excluding the one-off importation of aircraft, the March 2011 quarter had a small seasonally adjusted trade surplus of $14 million (0.1 percent of exports).

March 2011 had the highest monthly value for exports ever recorded ($4.5 billion).  The previous high was $4.2 billion in May 2010. The trade balance for the March 2011 month was a surplus of $464 million (10 percent of exports). This compares with an average surplus of 5.7 percent of exports over the preceding five March months. 

Geoff Bascand 29 April 2011

Government Statistician