A strong export performance is behind a $3.2 billion turnaround in New Zealand's trade balance over the past year. Figures released by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) today show exports were up 15 percent, or $405 million, in August from a year earlier to $3.2b, led by higher prices for dairy products. Imports last month were up 3.6 percent, or $126m, to $3.6b, leaving a trade deficit in August of $437m, or 14 percent of the value of exports, SNZ said.
The August trade balance is typically negative, with last month's deficit half the average of the five August months before 2010. For the year ended August the annual trade surplus was the highest since March 2002 at $866m, or 2.1 percent of exports. That compares with an average deficit of 15 percent of exports for the five previous August years.