24 Mar 2016

Offshore drilling boosts NZ's trade surplus

7:35 pm on 24 March 2016

New Zealand has recorded a trade surplus, bolstered by the export of a large drilling platform.

Offshore oil drilling platform - generic

An offshore drilling platform like this one was responsible for bolstering New Zealands trade surplus. Photo: 123RF

Official figures show exports exceeded imports to the tune of $339 million in February.

Excluding the drilling platform, the surplus stood at $72m.

Statistics New Zealand said exports rose 2.5 percent to $4 billion, led by dairy products, fish and wine, which offset declines in beef and lamb.

Imports rose 3 percent to $3.9 billion, with people buying more pharmaceutical products, toys, and sporting equipment.

On an annual basis, the trade balance recorded a deficit of $3.3 billion.

China remains the country's top trade partner for both exports and imports, followed by Australia.

Analysts expect the deficit to widen further in the near term, due to continued weakness in dairy prices and a rebound in oil prices.