By Dow Jones Business News,
August 25, 2014, 07:24:00 PM EDT
By Lucy Craymer
WELLINGTON, New Zealand--New Zealand's monthly goods trade balance swung to a deficit in July as exports fell on year
for the first time in 11 months.
The country recorded a 692 million New Zealand dollar (US$576 million) trade deficit for July. However, the balance
for the 12 months to July 31 remained in surplus at NZ$1.29 billion, Statistics New Zealand said Tuesday.
The median expectation in a survey of nine economists by The Wall Street Journal was for a deficit of NZ$500 million
in July, and a NZ$1.46 billion surplus for the 12-month period.
Exports totaled NZ$3.7 billion in July, down 3.3% on the year and 11.3% lower on the month. "Goods exports decreased
over a range of commodities but the fall was led by pine logs," Jason Attewell, international statistics manager at
Statistics New Zealand, said.
While there were small rises in milk powder, butter and cheese exports, these were offset by larger falls in other
commodities. New Zealand exports do have a seasonal factor, with dairy often falling off at this time of year due to
calving reducing milk supply.
However, prices for dairy have fallen sharply over recent months as demand for products wanes and there is ample
supply in the market. Exports to China, the country's largest trading partner, were down 5.4% on July 2013, but for the
12 months ended July 31 were 47.3% higher for the prior 12-month period.
Imports totaled NZ$4.4 billion in July, down 4.8% on the year but up 11.7% on the month.
Write to Lucy Craymer at email@example.com, @lucy_craymer
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