Wellington, Jan 27 (IANS) Record high values for New Zealand dairy products and increased exports, particularly to Australia and China, maintained New Zealand’s trade surplus for a third straight quarter during October-December last year.
Figures from the government statistics agency Friday showed exports of milk powder, butter and cheese led a 4.3 percent increase in the value of exports in the fourth quarter, reported Xinhua.
“The seasonally adjusted trade balance for the December 2011 quarter was a surplus of NZ $698 million ($573.12 million), equivalent to 5.7 percent of exports,” Statistics New Zealand industry and labour statistics manager Neil Kelly said.
“Of the last eight quarters, only the March 2011 quarter recorded a seasonally adjusted trade deficit,” said Kelly in a statement.
For the month of December, export values rose by NZ $491 million, or 13 percent, compared with December 2010, led by milk powder, butter and cheese.
December 2011 was a record month for milk powder, butter and cheese exports, with quantities and values both reaching new highs, said the statement.
December saw a trade surplus of NZ $338 million or 7.8 percent of exports, which compared with an average deficit of 5.2 percent of exports for the previous five December months.
China took the second largest increase in exports, up by NZ $67 million, or 12 percent, led by milk powder, butter and cheese, which were up NZ $89 million, and preparations of cereals, flour, and starch, but falling values of logs, wood, and wood articles and wool partly offset the increase.
The value of imports from some countries dropped significantly last month with the biggest fall in imports from the US, which was down NZ $249 million, or 39 percent, mainly due to a drop of NZ $230 million in the value of aircraft imports.