Sharechat Logo

Dairy sales push May exports to record high

Tuesday 25th June 2019

Text too small?

Dairy exports - to China in particular - helped propel May exports to a record high and meant the monthly trade surplus was slightly wider than expected. 

Exports rose 8.5 percent to $5.8 billion on the year in May while imports rose 7.6 percent to $5.5 billion. The May trade surplus was $264 million. The annual trade balance was a $5.49 billion deficit versus a revised $5.56 billion deficit for the 12 months through April. It was $3.7 billion in the year ended May 2018. 

Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a surplus of $200 million in May and an annual trade deficit of $5.5 billion. 

Dairy products led the rise in exports. They reached $1.3 billion in May, up 15 percent from the same month a year earlier. 

The rise was led by milk powder, up $155 million on a year earlier. It was quantity-led but unit values also rose, up 3.9 percent on May 2018. In contrast, milk fats including butter fell $58 million.

“The rise in dairy export values in recent months mainly reflects greater quantities,” international trade analyst Dave Adair said.

Preparations of milk, cereals, flour, and starch rose 41 percent to $247 million. This commodity group includes infant formula.

Fruit exports rose 8.8 percent to $651 million, led by gold kiwifruit. Fish, crustaceans, and molluscs rose 35 percent to $189 million.

On the import side, crude oil imports lifted $363 million to $438 million. Stats NZ noted that in May 2018 there was a planned maintenance shutdown of the Marsden Point oil refinery so crude oil imports were unusually low.

Imports of ships, boats and floating structures and aircraft and parts also lifted. 

In terms of New Zealand's two largest trading partners, exports to China continued to storm higher, lifting 29.1 percent on the year in May and 22.1 percent in the 12 months to the end of May versus the same period a year earlier. Exports to China were led by increases in milk powder, beef, food preparations and logs. 

Exports to Australia, meanwhile, dipped 2.4 percent on the year in May and 0.6 percent in the 12 months to the end of May. 

Imports from China also continued to gain, lifting 5.1 percent on the year in May and 15 percent in the 12-month period versus the same period a year earlier. 


  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

Yili's Westland takeover gets OIO approval
New Zealand's Commerce Commission files High Court proceedings against Westpac NZ
Reserve Bank to ease lending restrictions if risks decline
We All Need to Calm Down About Rare Earths
Will ditching the CGT have revived business spirits?
Updated: NZ central bank cuts rates, signals more to come
Ardern, Macron to chair meeting to stop social media's use in terrorism
NZ commodity prices lift in March, led by dairy
Barfoot sees regained momentum in Auckland sales amid flat prices
House prices rose in February but sales volumes fell 9.5%

IRG See IRG research reports