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Overseas Merchandise Trade: June 2013
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  24 July 2013
Commentary

Seasonally adjusted exports fall 4.7 percent in June 2013 quarter

The seasonally adjusted value of exported goods fell 4.7 percent ($538 million) to $11.0 billion in the June 2013 quarter. This followed a 0.4 percent ($41 million) increase in the March 2013 quarter. This is the lowest seasonally adjusted value for exports since the September 2010 quarter.

The trend for goods exported, which reflects the long-term behaviour of export values, is 7.6 percent lower than the record high in the September 2011 quarter.

Graph, Merchandise export values, quarterly, June 2007 to June 2013.

Milk powder, butter, and cheese lead fall in seasonally adjusted exports

Milk powder, butter, and cheese (New Zealand’s largest export commodity group) led the fall in seasonally adjusted exports in the June 2013 quarter, down 6.8 percent ($193 million). This followed a 2.8 percent rise in the March 2013 quarter. Quantities for the June 2013 quarter fell 18 percent, following a rise of 1.5 percent in the March 2013 quarter. The drought appears to have contributed to the fall in the June 2013 quarter.

The trend for milk powder, butter, and cheese values is 11 percent lower than its highest point, which was in the September 2011 quarter.

Graph, Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports, quarterly values and quantities, seasonally adjusted, June 2007 to June 2013.

Other key changes in commodity export values

In the June 2013 quarter, compared with the March 2013 quarter, the value of exports fell for:

  • meat and edible offal (New Zealand’s second-largest export commodity group) – down 9.2 percent ($123 million), with quantities down 12 percent
  • ships, boats, and floating structures (not seasonally adjusted) – down 65 percent ($38 million)
  • casein and caseinates – down 15 percent ($36 million), with quantities down 24 percent. 

By commodity group, the value of exports rose for:

  • crude oil (not seasonally adjusted), up 13 percent ($48 million) 
  • aluminium and aluminium articles (not seasonally adjusted), up 12 percent ($27 million).

Seasonally adjusted imports show little change in June 2013 quarter

The seasonally adjusted value of imported goods increased 1.0 percent ($117 million) to $11.6 billion in the June 2013 quarter. This followed a 0.2 percent ($21 million) decrease in the March 2013 quarter.

The trend for imports is 21 percent above the most recent low point in September 2009 quarter. It is now 5.5 percent below the overall peak of the September 2008 quarter.

Graph, Merchandise import values, quarterly, June 2007 to June 2013. 

Capital goods lead increase in seasonally adjusted imports

For the three main broad economic categories, capital goods increased in value in the June 2013 quarter, while consumption goods and intermediate goods decreased.

Graph, Imports by broad economic category, quarterly values, seasonally adjusted, June 2007 to June 2013.

Capital goods increased 6.9 percent ($137 million) in the June 2013 quarter, following a decrease of 5.7 percent ($120 million) in the March 2013 quarter. Transport equipment rose 66 percent ($183 million). Machinery and plant partly offset the rise, down 2.7 percent ($46 million). Transport equipment is not seasonally adjusted.

Consumption goods decreased 1.0 percent ($28 million) in the June 2013 quarter, following a small increase in March 2013 quarter.

Intermediate goods decreased 0.3 percent ($16 million) in the June 2013 quarter, following a decrease of 2.6 percent ($140 million) in the March 2013 quarter. Crude oil (not seasonally adjusted) fell 7.2 percent ($97 million), and parts and accessories of capital goods fell 6.9 percent ($71 million). Processed industrial supplies rose 5.7 percent ($129 million).

In other categories of goods:

  • petrol and avgas, which is not seasonally adjusted, increased 1.0 percent ($3.9 million), following a 31 percent increase in the March 2013 quarter
  • passenger motor cars increased 7.5 percent ($65 million) in the June 2013 quarter, reaching its highest quarterly value since the series began in 1993.

Seasonally adjusted trade deficit in June 2013 quarter

In the June 2013 quarter, there was a seasonally adjusted trade deficit of $669 million, equivalent to 6.1 percent of exports. This followed a trade deficit of $14 million (0.1 percent of exports) in the March 2013 quarter.

Graph, Merchandise trade balance, quarterly, June 2007 to June 2013.

Australia top country for exports

Country data is not seasonally adjusted. All comparisons are between the June 2013 quarter and the June 2012 quarter.

In the June 2013 quarter, the top three countries that New Zealand exported goods to were:

  • Australia – $2.3 billion, down $204 million (8.3 percent)  
  • China – $2.0 billion, up $321 million (19 percent) 
  • United States – $1.1 billion, down $219 million (17 percent).

In the June 2013 quarter, the top three countries that New Zealand imported goods from were:

  • China – $1.9 billion, up $2.0 million (0.1 percent)  
  • Australia – $1.6 billion, down $184 million (10 percent) 
  • United States – $1.0 billion, down $10 million (1.0 percent).

Exports fall 3.9 percent in June month

In June 2013, merchandise exports were valued at $4.0 billion, down $161 million (3.9 percent) from June 2012.

Fall in exports led by milk powder, butter, and cheese

Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports fell $139 million (14 percent) to $838 million, with quantities down 26 percent. This was due to whole milk powder, down $144 million (31 percent).

Graph, Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports, monthly values and quantities, June 2007 to June 2013.

Other key changes in commodity export values, for June 2013

  • Ships, boats, and floating structures fell $32 million (88 percent), due to exports of pleasure boats, down $29 million.
  • Iron and steel, and articles fell $27 million (25 percent), led by ferrous waste and scrap.
  • Aluminium and aluminium articles rose $54 million (64 percent), due to unwrought aluminium.
  • Logs, wood, and wood articles rose $39 million (12 percent), due to pine logs.

Meat and edible offal (New Zealand’s second-largest export commodity) fell $1.1 million (0.2 percent) to $481 million.

Exports to Japan show largest decrease

In June 2013, the value of exports to the following countries fell:

  • Japan – down $64 million (19 percent), led by kiwifruit exports
  • Australia – down $49 million (5.9 percent), led by unwrought gold
  • Saudi Arabia – down $47 million (62 percent), led by whole milk powder.

China showed the largest increase, up $106 million (18 percent). Frozen lamb cuts and pine logs led the increase.

Imports fall 7.4 percent in June month

In the June 2013 month, imported goods were valued at $3.6 billion, down $286 million (7.4 percent) from June 2012.

Graph, Petroleum and products imports, monthly values, June 2007 to June 2013.

Petroleum and products fall 25 percent

The value of petroleum and products fell $186 million (25 percent) in June 2013 compared with June 2012. The fall was led by decreases in automotive diesel (down $63 million), crude oil (down $57 million), and premium motor spirit (down $18 million).

Other key changes in import values were for:

  • mechanical machinery and equipment – down $89 million (16 percent), led by steam turbines
  • electrical machinery and equipment – down $35 million (10 percent), due to telephone sets
  • aircraft and parts – up $77 million (239 percent).

Imports of petroleum and products lead country-of-origin changes

Import shipments of petroleum and products tend to fluctuate depending on where they come from, which causes large changes in quantities and values. In June 2013, compared with June 2012, petroleum and products influenced the value of imports from:

  • Oman, down $202 million, and Brunei Darussalam, down $94 million, both due to crude oil
  • Singapore, down $62 million, due to automotive diesel
  • Korea, down $42 million, led by premium motor spirit
  • Indonesia, up $114 million, Qatar, up $73 million, and Malaysia, up $35 million, all due to crude oil.

Other significant import movements were seen for:  

  • Japan – down $133 million (38 percent), led by steam turbines
  • Australia – down $85 million (15 percent), led by fertilisers
  • France – up $59 million (95 percent), due to aircraft and parts.

China, our main import partner, rose $2.8 million (0.4 percent). The increase was led by diesel-electric rail locomotives, and partly offset by computers.

June 2013 trade balance in surplus

In the June 2013 month, there was a trade surplus of $414 million (10 percent of exports). The average surplus was $33 million (0.3 percent of exports) over the previous five June months.

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

Key movements for the June 2013 year

New Zealand’s two-way goods trade for the year ended June 2013 was valued at $92.2 billion, down $1.9 billion from the previous year.

Goods exported were valued at $45.7 billion, down $970 million (2.1 percent) from the June 2012 year. The value of goods imported was $46.5 billion, down $956 million (2.0 percent) from the year ended June 2012.

For the June 2013 year, there was an annual trade deficit of $777 million (1.7 percent of exports). This compares with an average deficit of 3.3 percent of exports over the previous five June years, although there were surpluses in the June 2010 and June 2011 years.

Crude oil records the largest decrease in exports

By commodity group, the largest movements in the value of exports for the June 2013 year were:

  • crude oil, down $335 million (17 percent)
  • mechanical machinery and equipment, down $319 million (17 percent), led by refrigeration equipment for storage and display
  • milk powder, butter, and cheese, down $304 million (2.6 percent). The largest contributors were butter, anhydrous milk fat, and unsweetened whole milk powder. A rise in skimmed milk powder partly offset the fall
  • logs, wood, and wood articles, up $315 million (10 percent), due to a rise in pine logs. 

By country, the largest movements in the value of exports for the June 2013 year were:

  • Australia – down $927 million to $9.5 billion, led by crude oil and mechanical machinery and equipment
  • Japan – down $437 million to $3.0 billion, led by unwrought aluminium, and kiwifruit
  • Venezuela – down $236 million to $322 million, due to milk powder, butter, and cheese
  • China – up $1.6 billion to $7.7 billion, led by unsweetened whole milk powder, pine logs, and sheep meat.

In the year ended June 2013, other large export partners included:

  • EU – down $367 million to $4.5 billion
  • ASEAN – down $126 million to $4.3 billion
  • United States – up $34 million to $4.1 billion
  • Korea – up $30 million to $1.6 billion.

Aircraft and parts record the largest decrease in imports

By commodity group, the largest movements in the value of imports for the June 2013 year were:

  • aircraft and parts, down $530 million (48 percent)
  • petroleum and products, down $420 million (5.0 percent), led by automotive diesel and crude oil 
  • vehicles, parts, and accessories, up $474 million (9.7 percent), led by goods transport vehicles.

By country, the largest movements in the value of imports for the June 2013 year were:

  • Russia, down $591 million to $110 million, due to crude oil
  • Singapore (part of ASEAN), down $550 million to $1.7 billion, led by automotive diesel, and premium motor spirit
  • Malaysia (part of ASEAN), up $601 million to $2.1 billion, due to crude oil
  • Korea, up $315 million to $1.9 billion, led by regular motor spirit, and automotive diesel.

In the year ended June 2013, other large import partners included:

  • ASEAN – up $364 million to $7.6 billion
  • China – up $105 million to $7.8 billion
  • EU – up $72 million to $7.4 billion
  • United States – down $467 million to $4.2 billion
  • Australia – down $330 million to $6.9 billion
  • Japan – down $242 million to $3.0 billion
  • Germany (part of EU) – down $9.1 million to $2.1 billion.

Exchange rate movements

According to the Reserve Bank’s trade weighted index (TWI), the New Zealand dollar was 4.3 percent lower in June 2013 than in May 2013, and 4.5 percent higher than in June 2012.

The TWI rose 0.7 percent in the June 2013 quarter, compared with the March 2013 quarter. The TWI was 7.2 percent higher in the June 2013 quarter than it was in the same quarter in 2012.

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

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

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