WELLINGTON, July 25 (Xinhua) -- China led a 6.8-percent rise in New Zealand exports last month, resulting in a trade surplus, the government statistics agency announced Wednesday.
New Zealand merchandise exports were valued at 4.2 billion NZ dollars (3.29 billion U.S. dollars), up 244 million NZ dollars from June 2011, according to Statistics New Zealand's monthly overseas merchandise trade figures.
Meanwhile imports increased 114 million NZ dollars, or 3 percent, leaving a surplus of 331 million NZ dollars, or 7.9 percent of exports, compared with an average deficit of 4.8 percent of exports over the previous five June months.
The biggest growth in exports went to China, which was up 220 million NZ dollars, or 58 percent, led by pinus radiata logs, which doubled in value, and whole milk powder, said the Statistics New Zealand report.
This was followed by Japan, up 68 million NZ dollars, or 25 percent, the United Arab Emirates (up 34 million NZ dollars, or 73 percent), and the Republic of Korea (up 24 million NZ dollars, or 17 percent).
Australia showed the largest decrease, down 30 million NZ dollars, or 3.5 percent, led by falls in exports of unwrought silver, unwrought gold and cheese.
Exports of milk powder, butter, and cheese exports rose 88 million, or 9.9 percent to 979 million NZ dollars, offsetting a 5. 7-percent fall over the quarter ending June, which followed a 6.8- percent fall in the March 2012 quarter.
"Dairy products typically have the largest influence on total exports, and the June 2012 quarter is no exception," industry and labor statistics manager Neil Kelly said in a statement.
The export trend had fallen for the latest three quarters, from a record high in the September 2011 quarter, while values of imported goods have been steadily increasing since a recent low in the September 2009 quarter.
In the year to the end of June, New Zealand had an annual trade deficit of 747 million NZ dollars, or 1.6 percent of export, compared with an average deficit of 6.5 percent of exports over the previous five June years, although there were surpluses in the June 2010 and June 2011 years.