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First Monthly Trade Surplus Since May 2004

27 April 2006

First Monthly Trade Surplus Since May 2004

The monthly trade balance for March 2006 is a surplus of $59 million (1.9 percent of exports), the first surplus since May 2004, Statistics New Zealand said today. The average trade balance for a March month over the previous 10 years has been a surplus of $99 million (3.5 percent of exports); of those 10 March months, only two recorded deficits.

Exports of merchandise goods for the month of March 2006 are 13.8 percent higher than for March 2005.

The main contributor to this increase is exports of milk powder, butter and cheese. Imports for March 2006 are 4.6 percent higher than in March 2005, with the main contributor to the increase being crude oil and petroleum products.

Imports of merchandise goods for the month of March 2006 are 4.6 percent higher than for March 2005.

Increased import values have been partly offset by a decrease in the value of imported new motor cars. The biggest contributor to the decreases in this category has been motor cars exceeding 3000cc.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

ENDS

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