Overseas Merchandise Trade: March 2010

Embargoed until 10:45am  –  29 April 2010
Media release  – 
Dairy products lift exports


March 2010 quarter:

Values are seasonally adjusted and compared with the December 2009 quarter unless otherwise stated.

  • Exports increased 10.4 percent to $10.4 billion. This follows four quarterly decreases.
  • Milk powder, butter, and cheese dominated the increases in exports.
  • Imports increased 6.8 percent to $10.2 billion, also following four quarterly decreases.
  • The rise in imports was led by increases in intermediate goods and consumption goods.
  • The trade balance was a surplus of $233 million (2.2 percent of exports).

March 2010 month:

Values are actual and compared with the March 2009 month unless otherwise stated.

  • Exports were up 0.1 percent ($3 million) to $4.1 billion.
  • Milk powder, butter, and cheese showed the largest increase.
  • Imports decreased 3.5 percent ($126 million) to $3.5 billion.
  • Electrical machinery and equipment, and mechanical machinery and equipment led the fall in imports.
  • The trade balance was a surplus of $567 million (14.0 percent of exports). 
Graph, quarterly merchandise trend values.   
Geoff Bascand 29 April 2010
Government Statistician ISSN 1178-0320