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Overseas Merchandise Trade: August 2017
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  26 September 2017
Key facts

This release refers to trade in goods only. 

August 2017 monthly values are actual and compared with August 2016.

Fruit leads exports rise

  • Goods exports rose $306 million (9.0 percent) to $3.7 billion.
  • Fruit had the largest rise of any export commodity group in August 2017, up $70 million (29 percent) to $311 million.
  • Kiwifruit led the rise in fruit, up $73 million (37 percent) to $268 million.
  • Gold kiwifruit rose $45 million (55 percent) in value, and 26 percent in quantity.
  • Green kiwifruit rose $28 million (25 percent) in value, and 17 percent in quantity.
  • Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports fell $12 million (2.6 percent) in value, and 25 percent in quantity. August months are generally lower-value and lower-quantity months for dairy commodity exports.  

 

 

Other key changes in commodity export values for August 2017 were:

  • Petroleum products (including crude oil) – up $54 million (56 percent).
  • Food preparations (such as infant formula) – up $44 million (50 percent).

The monthly movements for New Zealand's top export destinations included:

  • Australia – up 152 million (22 percent) to $860 million, with increases across a range of commodities.
  • China – up $85 million (13 percent) to $724 million, led by kiwifruit, up $58 million.
  • European Union – up $33 million (8.8 percent) to $413 million, led by kiwifruit, up $15 million.

 

Crude oil leads imports rise

  • Goods imports rose $301 million (6.5 percent) to $4.9 billion.
  • Crude oil led the rise – up $147 million (93 percent).
  • Mechanical machinery and equipment rose $82 million (13 percent), led by a rise in aircraft parts, up $48 million.
  • Electrical machinery and equipment rose $39 million (11 percent), with rises across a range of commodities.
  • Vehicles parts and accessories were little changed (up 0.1 percent).

The monthly movements for New Zealand's top import destinations were:

  • European Union – up $107 million (12 percent) to $1.0 billion, led by a rise in vehicles, parts, and accessories, up $69 million.
  • Australia – up $48 million (8.2 percent) to $637 million, with increases across a range of commodities.
  • United States – up $37 million (8.2 percent) to $494 million, led by a rise in aircraft, up $18 million.
  • China – up $26 million (2.7 percent), led by a rise in laptops, up $15 million.
  • Japan – down $50 million (14 percent), led by a fall in motor vehicles, down $46 million.

 

Trade deficit in August 2017

  • The monthly trade balance was a deficit of $1.2 billion (33 percent of exports).
  • The average monthly deficit in August over the last five years was $968 million (28 percent of exports). 

Annual goods exports continue to rise

  • Annual goods exports were valued at $50.8 billion, an increase from $50.5 billion in July 2017.
  • Annual goods imports were valued at $54.0 billion, an increase from $53.7 billion in July 2017.
  • The annual trade deficit was $3.2 billion in August, little changed from July 2017.

Datasets and more information

Overseas merchandise trade datasets has CSV data for goods imports and exports.

Goods and Services Trade by Country: Year ended June 2017 has information on trade in goods and services.

Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician
ISSN 1178-0320
26 September 2017

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