RTTNews - New Zealand posted a trade surplus of 858.0 million New Zealand dollars in May, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday, for the largest surplus since June 1993. Representing 21 .7 percent of exports, the increased trade surplus resulted from a large drop in imports combined with a moderate rise in exports.

Analysts had been expecting a surplus of 250 million NZD following the revised 319 million NZD surplus in April.

Exports came in at 3.96 billion NZD versus expectations for 3.70 billion NZD following the 3.65 billion NZD total in April. Imports totaled 3.10 billion NZD - below forecasts for 3.42 billion NZD following the revised 3.33 billion NZD total in the previous month.

On year, the total value of merchandise imports for May was down by 20.7 percent or $809 million NZD. In percentage terms, this month's decrease is the largest since February 1993. Petroleum and petroleum products, and passenger motor cars led this month's imports decrease, accounting for more than 60 percent of the fall. The value of passenger motor car imports for May was less than half of that recorded a year earlier and this fall was led by petrol cars with engine capacities above 1500cc.

The value of merchandise exports rose 5.8 percent or $218 million NZD in May compared with the previous year. Exports to China accounted for 80 percent of this month's increase, with milk powder, butter, cheese, logs, wood, and wood articles making the largest contributions.

For the year, New Zealand has a trade deficit of 3.044 billion NZD. In April, the deficit was a revised 4.072 billion NZD.

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