30 Jan 2018

NZ posts biggest monthly trade surplus in two years

2:19 pm on 30 January 2018

New Zealand has posted its biggest monthly trade surplus in more than two and-a-half years because of record export values.

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Exports were led higher due to record values for dairy products. Photo: 123rf.com

Official figures show a surplus of $640 million last month, the highest for a December on record, and the biggest surplus since March 2015.

Exports outpaced imports to $5.6 billion, because of record values for dairy products, such as milk powder, butter and cheese.

Stats NZ's international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said it was a solid result.

"The previous highest values for both dairy exports and total exports were recorded in the 2013/14 dairy export season, when dairy prices were at a high level," he said.

Imports fell from November to $4.9bn.

On an annual basis, the trade deficit narrowed to $2.8bn.

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