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Overseas Merchandise Trade: July 2013
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  26 August 2013
Commentary

All comparisons are between July 2013 and July 2012, unless otherwise stated.

Exports fall 4.8 percent

In July 2013, exported goods were valued at $3.8 billion, down $196 million (4.8 percent) from July 2012.

Fall in exports led by crude oil and dairy

Crude oil exports decreased $141 million (64 percent), with quantities down 64 percent in July 2013. Milk powder, butter, and cheese fell $137 million (13 percent), with quantities down 37 percent.

Graph, Crude oil exports, monthly values and quantities, June 2011 to July 2013.    Graph, Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports, monthly values and quantities, June 2011 to July 2013.

Other key changes in commodity group export values, for July 2013:

  • aluminium and aluminium articles – down $47 million (56 percent), led by unwrought aluminium
  • fruit – down $42 million (20 percent), led by kiwifruit
  • logs, wood, and wood articles – up $65 million (24 percent), led by pine logs
  • meat and edible offal  up $26 million (6.8 percent), led by frozen sheep meat.

Exports fall to three of our top five export partners

July month movements for exports to our top five export partners (ranked by total annual exports) were:

  1. Australia – down $123 million (14 percent) to $760 million, due to crude oil
  2. China – up $117 million (22 percent) to $653 million, led by sheep meat, and pine logs
  3. United States – down $49 million (14 percent) to $309 million, led by beef meat, and natural milk constituents
  4. Japan – down $116 million (37 percent) to $200 million, led by crude oil and unwrought aluminium
  5. Korea – up $10 million (7.7 percent) to $134 million, due to pine logs.

In the 12 months ended July 2013, our top five export partners accounted for $25.7 billion (57 percent) of total goods exported. This is down $38 million (0.1 percent) from the 12 months ended July 2012.

Other significant movements were seen for exports to:

  • Algeria – down $52 million (71 percent), due to whole milk powder
  • Venezuela – down $49 million (56 percent), due to whole milk powder
  • Singapore – up $39 million (51 percent), led by residual fuel oil, and skimmed milk powder.

Imports rise 17 percent

In July 2013, imported goods were valued at $4.6 billion, up $676 million (17 percent) from July 2012. This is the highest value for any July month. The main contributor to this was aircraft and parts.

Excluding aircraft and parts, goods imported were valued at $4.3 billion in July 2013, up $421 million (11 percent) from July 2012.

Capital goods show the largest increase

The value of all three main economic categories – capital goods, intermediate goods, and consumption goods – rose.

Graph, Imports by broad economic category, monthly values, June 2007 to July 2013.

Capital goods rose $417 million (59 percent). Transport equipment rose $297 million, led by helicopters, up $152 million. Machinery and plant also rose $120 million, led by petroleum distilling equipment.

Intermediate goods rose $104 million (5.5 percent), led by crude oil, up $200 million. This was partly offset by processed industrial supplies (including urea and potassium chloride), down $47 million, and automotive diesel, down $36 million.

Consumption goods rose $33 million (3.4 percent), due to processed food and beverages (such as cereals), up $25 million (12 percent).

In other categories of goods:

  • petrol and avgas rose $59 million (92 percent), led by regular and premium motor spirit
  • passenger motor cars rose $52 million (19 percent), led by petrol motor cars with an engine capacity of 1500–3000cc.

Key movements in commodity import values

By commodity group, the value of imports rose for:

  • aircraft and parts – up $255 million, led by helicopters
  • petroleum and products – up $231 million (44 percent), led by crude oil, up $200 million, and regular motor spirit, up $36 million
  • mechanical machinery and equipment – up $106 million (21 percent), led by tunnelling machinery and petroleum distilling equipment.

Fertilisers fell $76 million (54 percent), led by urea and potassium chloride.

Imports rise from three of our top five import partners

July month movements for imports from our top five import partners (ranked by total annual imports) were:

  1. China – up $156 million (23 percent) to $833 million, led by tunnelling machinery, and railway goods wagons
  2. Australia – down $160 million (22 percent) to $564 million, led by crude oil and raw cane sugar
  3. United States – up $86 million (24 percent) to $449 million, led by regular motor spirit and well sinking and boring machinery
  4. Japan – down $9.6 million (3.7 percent) to $248 million, over a range of commodities
  5. Germany – up $27 million (17 percent) to $189 million, led by petrol motor cars with an engine capacity of 1500–3000cc.

In the 12 months ended July 2013, our top five import partners accounted for $24.1 billion (51 percent) of total goods imported. This is down $1.1 billion (4.4 percent) from the 12 months ended July 2012.

Other significant movements were seen for imports from:

  • France – up $236 million, due to aircraft and parts (including helicopters, up $152 million)
  • Brunei – up $130 million, United Arab Emirates, up $128 million, and Russia, up $94 million, all due to crude oil
  • Korea – down $53 million, led by automotive diesel.

Trade deficit in July 2013

In July 2013, there was a trade deficit of $774 million (20 percent of exports). July months are normally trade deficits, but there were small trade surpluses in July 2011 and 2012. The largest deficit in the previous five July months was $797 million (23 percent of exports) in 2008, which was influenced by petroleum import prices and imports of capital goods.

Graph, Merchandise trade balance, monthly, June 2007 to July 2013.

For the year ended July 2013, there was an annual trade deficit of $1.7 billion (3.7 percent of exports). Eight of the last 10 July years were trade deficits. The surpluses were in the July 2010 and July 2011 years.

Seasonally adjusted exports fall 5.9 percent

After adjusting for seasonal effects, the value of exported goods fell 5.9 percent ($237 million) in July 2013, compared with June 2013. This follows a 13 percent increase in June 2013. July’s fall was led by decreases in commodities that do not have a seasonal pattern, such as crude oil, and aluminium articles.

The trend for exported goods values is 2.4 percent below the previous high point of July 2011.

Graph, Merchandise export values, monthly, June 2007 to July 2013.

Influences on seasonally adjusted exports values

In July 2013, crude oil fell 58 percent ($111 million), with quantities down 57 percent, and aluminium and aluminium articles fell 73 percent ($102 million). Neither of these commodity groups are seasonally adjusted.

In July 2013, milk powder, butter, and cheese increased the most of all seasonally adjusted exports, up 13 percent ($118 million), compared with a 3.6 percent fall in June 2013.

The value of seasonally adjusted fruit exports fell 19 percent ($27 million) in July 2013, compared with an 8.3 percent increase in June 2013. The seasonally adjusted value for fish, crustaceans, and molluscs rose 18 percent, compared with a 15 percent fall in June 2013.

Logs, wood, and wood articles fell 3.8 percent ($13 million) after a 17 percent rise in June 2013.

Trend for exports of logs, wood, and wood articles continues at high levels

Exports of logs, wood, and wood articles are at a high level, 12 percent higher than the most recent high of March 2011.

Recent trends for the values of other leading commodity groups show that:

  • fruit is 6.8 percent lower than the most recent high of July 2012
  • milk powder, butter, and cheese is 5.1 percent below its most recent high point of August 2012
  • meat and edible offal is 2.9 percent lower than its most recent high point of September 2012.

Graph, Indexed export trend values by leading commodity groupings, monthly, June 2007 to July 2013.

Seasonally adjusted imports rise 12 percent 

Seasonally adjusted imports rose 12 percent ($473 million) to $4.4 billion in July 2013, compared with June 2013. This follows a 0.6 percent ($23 million) increase in June 2013. Excluding petroleum and products, seasonally adjusted imports rose 8.8 percent in July 2013.

The trend for imported goods values (excluding one-off imports) has been increasing in recent months.

Graph, Merchandise import values, monthly, June 2007 to July 2013.

Exchange rate movements

According to the Reserve Bank’s trade weighted index, the New Zealand dollar was 1.1 percent higher in July 2013 than in June 2013, and 3.5 percent higher than in July 2012.

Graph, Trade weighted index, monthly, June 2007 to July 2013.

For more detailed data, see the Excel tables in the ‘Downloads’ box.

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