Strong dairy exports led the increase in October,” overseas trade manager Neil Kelly said. The trend in export values has been rising since October 2009 and is similar to the previous peak in late 2008.”
The milk powder, butter, and cheese commodity group was the major contributor to the increase in October export values, led by unsweetened whole milk powder.
The total value of goods imported for October 2010 was up $541 million (16 percent) from October 2009, to $4.0 billion.
Crude oil, and vehicles, parts, and accessories, were the leading contributors to the increase in imports.
The trend for imports values has been flat since May 2010 and is 15 percent below its peak in September 2008.
In October 2010, the trade balance was a deficit of $319 million (8.7 percent of the value of exports), less than one-third of the average deficit of 29 percent of exports over the previous five October months. The October trade balance has always been in deficit.
The annual trade balance for the year ended October 2010 was a surplus of $1.2 billion (2.8 percent of the value of exports). This compares with the average deficit of 14 percent of exports for the five previous October years.