Consumer goods drives trade surplus in May

import-export consumer goodsNew Zealand reported a goods trade surplus of $358 million in May, representing 7.8 per cent of exports, which was higher than the average surplus in the five previous May months, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Nicola Growden, international statistics senior manager, said the latest rise in the value of consumer goods continues a series of month-on-month increases.

“The rise was across a broad range of consumer goods, including clothing, cosmetics, household appliances, furniture, and medicines,” Growden said.

Data also shows capital goods, including aircraft, were up $138 million. Intermediate goods, including parts of transport equipment, were up $105 million when crude oil is excluded (imports of crude oil fell $84 million due to lower prices).

Goods exports increased by a similar amount as goods imports, up $220 million or 5.1 per cent to $4.6 billion, led by forestry products with an increase of $110 million, and fruit, up $95 million.

Kiwifruit exports were up 29 per cent, $80 million, in value and 14 per cent in quantity in May 2016. Gold kiwifruit exports were up $50 million, following a similar rise in April 2016. Green kiwifruit were also up, $35 million. Kiwifruit varieties other than green or gold were down $5 million.

Kiwifruit exports were up across all the top export destinations, as measured by total annual exports; the largest movements for May 2016 were exports to China, with a 62 per cent increase of $31 million, and the European Union, up $20 million, 26 per cent.

There was a 9.9 per cent decrease in milk powder, butter, and cheese exports in May 2016, with falls to many main destinations. China was the exception, with exports of milk powder, butter, and cheese up $41 million for the month.

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