New zealand’s April trade surplus remains stronger than market expectations; NZD/USD trades tad higher
New Zealand’s April trade surplus of NZD263 million was stronger than expected with broad-based strength across most sectors. By market, the Great China region was again influential, but there remains broader based support across most major markets, except for the UK, Thailand and India.
On the import side, crude oil jumped, catching up from the previous lull in imported volumes and as prices pushed higher. Capital goods imports are supported by the high terms of trade supporting capacity investment, local construction activity and some catch-up in vehicle imports from February’s biosecurity disruption.
In seasonally adjusted terms export values rose 7.2 percent m/m in April. The charge was led by kiwifruit with export values up 50 percent y/y. This was partly due to an earlier harvest than last year, but also strong revenue prospects (prices and volumes). Livestock exports were stronger than expected with favorable pricing continuing.
Volumes also appear to have held up better than anticipated. This would imply the cupboard is fairly bare for the likes of dairy heading into the winter period. Softness largely centered on wine and several processed/industrial areas, but this was fairly limited.
“Local construction activity also continues to support capital and intermediate goods imports. Growth in consumption looks to have plateaued. It’s a little early to tell to what extent the dip in consumer confidence will weigh on future consumption imports,” ANZ Research commented in its latest report.
Meanwhile, the NZD/USD currency pair is trading tad higher at 0.6916 by 07:35GMT.
Source: FXWire Commentary