In May 2006, a $235 million aircraft and a record amount of petroleum and products were imported, while three large items with a combined value of $245 million were exported. While both imports and exports for May 2007 were down on the previous May, exports had the third-highest value on record for any month.
The decrease in imports was dominated by the two commodity groups mentioned above – petroleum and products, and aircraft and parts – down a combined $444 million from May 2006. A $29 million increase in vehicles, parts and accessories was the largest commodity increase.
The $287 million fall in exports in May 2007 was led by aircraft and parts, down $177 million on May 2006. Exports of meat and edible offal, and milk powder, butter and cheese also decreased.
Figures for May 2007 indicate that the trade balance was a marginal surplus of $9 million (0.3 percent of exports). However, trade figures remain provisional for three months and updates could change this balance.
It is usual for the month of May to show a surplus, and the average trade balance for a May month over the last decade has been $234 million.