25 Jul 2012

Export receipts back above $4b

6:50 pm on 25 July 2012

New Zealand's export receipts have topped $4 billion for the first time in six months, as dairy companies sold excess stocks.

Despite this, exports fell in the June quarter, the second consecutive quarterly fall.

Dairy exports surged 27% in June, as dairy companies cleared inventories built up during a bumper season for grass growth and record milk production.

Statistics New Zealand says exports of butter, cheese and milk powder exceeded $1 billion for the month, up from $850 million in May, and $990 million in June last year.

Exports overall were up nearly 14% in June, the biggest monthly increase since January 2010.

Despite the strong performance last month, exports fell over the latest three month period by 1.6%, the second consecutive quarterly fall.

ANZ senior economist Mark Smith says the decrease in exports was led by a drop in commodity prices.

He says that's contributed to lower export values for the quarter and there were heavier falls for dairy and some other commodity price sensitive exports.

The trade deficit was $664 million in the June quarter, the second consecutive quarterly deficit, and a turnaround from a surplus of $300 million a year ago.