25 Mar 2015

Trade surplus for February

3:00 pm on 25 March 2015

The country has recorded a smaller trade surplus, due to weaker demand from China.

Official figures show a surplus of $50 million in February, compared with a $797 million surplus in the same period a year earlier.

Exports fell 13 percent to $3.9 billion because of lower prices for milk powder, butter and cheese.

Statistics New Zealand said more than three quarters of the drop in value was due to lower exports to China.

Imports rose 4 percent to $3.9 billion.

BNZ senior economist Doug Steel said weaker exports to China were the main reason behind the drop.

"The general trends are sort of pretty well known in the trade situation at the moment, that is very weak dairy prices are perviously filtering through the accounts."

"Quite a strong domestic economy that's propping up the import side of equation outside of oil, so quite big forces at work here," he said.

On an annual basis, the country recorded a wider deficit of $2.2 billion.