New Zealand exports reached record-breaking heights due to strong demand for the country's various agricultural products. While New Zealand continues to enjoy high demand of all things dairy in China, meat, fruits and wood are also surging.
The country's exports in March was recorded at NZ$5 billion or US$4.25 billion. Bank of New Zealand head of research Stephen Toplis said New Zealand's strong exports growth is a result of the combination of exports driven by strong primary exports, which in turn, were boosted by high international prices and growing volumes.
According to data from Statistics New Zealand, dairy exports grew 45 per cent in March in the previous year with meat up 11.8 per cent and fruits with 34 per cent. Wood exports also grew 14 per cent. This led to biggest trade surplus ever of NZ$920 million for March since records began
Exports data are compared to the same month with the previous year because of the seasonal nature of agricultural production.
New Zealand's high growth in agricultural products has outperformed Australia's economy. New Zealand is expected to have a bigger growth rate in 2014 as Westpac Bank raises its growth forecast to 4.2 per cent from the previous rate of 3.8 per cent. The bank revised its predictions following New Zealand's strong trade performance.
In December, it was reported that New Zealand's economic growth was faster than most countries, including Australia. According to Finance Minister Bill English, the latest statistics revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) growth of New Zealand was 3.5 per cent in September compared to 2.3 per cent of Australia's GDP.
In Westpac's recent economic review, the bank expects the Kiwi dollar to trade above $80 U.S. cents against the U.S. dollar and over 90 cents against the Australian dollar all the way to 2015.
New Zealand's terms of trade index, which measures changes in export prices against import price, has risen by 7.5 per cent in the September quarter. The change is significant since the index reached a level not observed since December 1973.