This is the highest monthly surplus ever recorded and the highest in almost 20 years as a percentage of exports. Contributing to the surplus, exports in April 2011 reached $4.7 billion, also a new high.
The total value of goods exported in April 2011 rose $691 million (17 percent) from April 2010, across a range of commodities, led by the milk powder, butter, and cheese commodity group.
The total value of goods imported in April 2011 rose $238 million (7.2 percent) from April 2010, to $3.5 billion, led by increases in petroleum and products values.
The trends for export and import values have continued to increase since their most recent low points in September 2009. While the trend for exports is at its highest level, the trend for imports is 9.5 percent below its peak in September 2008.
The annual trade balance for the year ended April 2011 was a surplus of $1.2 billion (2.6 percent of exports). This is the largest surplus for a year ended April since 1994.