WELLINGTON, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Kiwifruit exports rose 82 percent in April 2018 compared with April 2017, to reach 438 million NZ dollars (303 million U.S. dollars), a new high for a sole month, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Thursday.
The rise in kiwifruit exports was the leading contributor to a 7.3-percent rise in overall goods exports, which reached 5.1 billion NZ dollars. This is the second-highest for any month, the highest level was 5.5 billion NZ dollars in December 2017, Stats NZ said.
"Kiwifruit exports were up for all New Zealand's principal kiwifruit markets, China, the European Union, and Japan," Stats NZ international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said in a statement.
In April, the first month of the export season, the gold variety made up nearly three-quarters of the total value of kiwifruit exports, Islam said, adding that annual exports of kiwifruit in the year ended April 2018 were 1.9 billion NZ dollars, up 9 percent from the year ended April 2017.
Goods imports rose 15 percent to reach 4.8 billion NZ dollars, a new high for total imports in an April month. The leading contributor to the rise was an increased value of petroleum and products, led by crude oil, statistics show.
The monthly trade balance in April 2018 was a surplus of 263 million NZ dollars, or 5.2 percent of exports, lower than the average monthly surplus in the last five April months, according to Stats NZ. (1 NZ dollar equals to 0.69 U.S. dollar)