New Zealand Posts Fourth Monthly Trade Surplus in a Row

By James Glynn Features Dow Jones Newswires

New Zealand's posted a fourth consecutive monthly trade surplus in June supported by rising dairy exports, with China the dominant buyer, Statistics New Zealand said Wednesday.

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The nation's merchandise trade surplus came to 242 million New Zealand dollars (US$179.6 million) last month, compared with a NZ$107 million surplus a year ago.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a surplus of NZ$200 million for the month.

The trade balance remained in surplus despite a big jump in car imports which topped NZ$500 million for the first time in June. Total monthly imports in June were 7.7% above their level a year earlier.

New Zealand is in the midst of a strong jump in population, which might explain the rising demand for vehicles.

Meanwhile, dairy exports continue to climb with New Zealand targeting growth in China's middle class, which is demanding reliable sources of milk powder.

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"The milk powder, butter, and cheese group continues to be a key export commodity, and accounts for over a quarter of our total exports," international statistics senior manager Daria Kwon said.

When compared with the first quarter, the seasonally adjusted value of exported goods rose by 9.9%, to reach NZ$13.5 billion in the latest quarter. Milk powder, butter, and cheese rose by 22% in value, and by 20% in quantity, the government data showed.

The value of imported goods was up 2.9% in the second quarter, it added.

-Write to James Glynn at james.glynn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 25, 2017 19:18 ET (23:18 GMT)