The trend returned to 2008 levels in May and has remained at those levels,” overseas trade manager Neil Kelly said. The trend in export values has risen since October 2009 and although slowing in recent months, remains similar to the previous high in late 2008.”
The milk powder, butter, and cheese commodity group was the major contributor to the increase in November export values, led by unsweetened whole milk powder.
The total value of goods imported for November 2010 was up $495 million (15 percent) from November 2009, to $3.8 billion.
Mechanical machinery and equipment, and vehicles, parts, and accessories, were the leading contributors to the increase in imports.
The trend for total merchandise imports has fallen slightly since June 2010 and is 17 percent below its peak in September 2008.
In November 2010, the trade balance was a deficit of $186 million (5.1 percent of the value of exports). This compares with an average November deficit of 24 percent of exports for the previous five years.
The annual trade balance for the year ended November 2010 was a surplus of $1.3 billion (3.1 percent of exports). This is the first surplus for a November year since 2001.