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Overseas Merchandise Trade: June 2015
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  24 July 2015
Commentary

This commentary refers to trade in goods only.

See Goods and Services Trade by Country: Year ended March 2015 for information on trade in goods and services.

Fruit helps quarterly exports rise 0.4 percent

The seasonally adjusted value of exported goods rose 0.4 percent ($49 million) to reach $12.2 billion in the June 2015 quarter. This followed a 0.5 percent fall in the March 2015 quarter.

The trend, which reflects the long-term behaviour of export values, has fallen 7.9 percent from its record high in the March 2014 quarter.

Fruit leads rise in seasonally adjusted exports

Comparisons are between the June 2015 quarter and the March 2015 quarter.

Fruit (our fourth-largest annual export commodity group) rose 13 percent ($64 million). The value of fruit exports in the June 2015 quarter was $552 million, the highest ever for a quarter.

Logs, wood, and wood articles rose 5.3 percent ($47 million). Quantities rose 0.4 percent in the June 2015 quarter, compared with a 5.0 percent fall in the March 2015 quarter.

Export values and quantities fell for:

  • meat and edible offal – down $75 million, with quantities down 4.2 percent.
  • milk powder, butter, and cheese – down 1.8 percent ($50 million), with quantities down 5.2 percent.

The value of exports rose for crude oil (not seasonally adjusted), up 61 percent ($86 million), with quantities up 50 percent. The value and quantity exported in the March 2015 quarter were the lowest since 2007.

China leads rise in quarterly exports

In the June 2015 quarter, our main export destinations were:

  • China up 21 percent ($381 million) to $2.2 billion.
  • Australia – down 1.9 percent ($40 million) to $2.1 billion.
  • European Union (EU) – up 3.2 percent ($39 million) to $1.3 billion.

Quarterly imports rise 0.4 percent

The seasonally adjusted value of imported goods rose 0.4 percent ($45 million) to $12.6 billion in the June 2015 quarter. This followed a 3.8 percent ($494 million) fall in the March 2015 quarter.

A maintenance shutdown at the Marsden Point refinery reduced crude oil processing capacity in May.

See May maintenance for Refinery (PDF).

This shutdown explains the lower quantity of crude oil imported in the June 2015 quarter (20 percent less), and led to a larger quantity of refined diesel (40 percent more) and refined petrol (27 percent more) being imported.

The trend for imports remains high, 0.8 percent below its peak in the December 2014 quarter.

Petrol and capital goods lead the rise in seasonally adjusted imports

For the three main broad economic categories, capital goods increased in value in the June 2015 quarter, while intermediate and consumption goods decreased.

Capital goods (not seasonally adjusted) rose 3.4 percent ($90 million). This follows a 6.9 percent fall in the March 2015 quarter, influenced by aircraft imports in December 2014. Machinery and plant rose 3.7 percent ($71 million), led by mobile phones and communications equipment.

Intermediate goods fell 1.3 percent ($66 million) in the latest quarter, following a fall of 9.2 percent ($527 million) in the March 2015 quarter. Crude oil led the fall, down $77 million (quantity-driven), following the March quarter's fall of $330 million (price-driven). Processed fuels and lubricants (such as automotive diesel) rose $82 million, after a $198 million fall in the March 2015 quarter.

Consumption goods fell 1.2 percent ($40 million) in the June 2015 quarter. Semi-durable consumer goods (such as clothing) led the fall, down $44 million from its highest value ever in the March 2015 quarter. Durable consumer goods (such as televisions) fell $26 million and non-durable consumer goods (goods to be consumed within a year) rose $17 million.

In other categories of goods:

  • petrol and avgas, which is not seasonally adjusted, rose 67 percent ($152 million), following a 26 percent fall in the March 2015 quarter.
  • passenger motor cars fell 1.0 percent ($11 million) in the June 2015 quarter, after an 8.3 percent rise in the March 2015 quarter.

Imports from China fall less than those from the EU

In the June 2015 quarter, compared with the March 2015 quarter, the top import sources (ranked by total annual imports) for New Zealand were:

  • China – down 1.0 percent ($25 million) to $2.4 billion.
  • European Union (EU) – down 8.2 percent ($199 million) to $2.2 billion.
  • Australia – down 2.2 percent ($34 million) to $1.5 billion.

Trade deficit shows little change in June 2015 quarter

In the June 2015 quarter, the seasonally adjusted trade deficit was $460 million, equivalent to 3.8 percent of exports. In the March 2015 quarter, the deficit was $465 million. This is the fifth consecutive quarterly trade deficit. The last trade surplus was $750 million in the March 2014 quarter.

Monthly exports at highest June month value

In June 2015, goods exports were valued at $4.2 billion, up $56 million (1.3 percent) from June 2014. This was the highest value ever for goods exported in a June month.

Logs, meat and fruit lead exports' rise

Logs, wood, and wood articles (New Zealand’s third-largest export commodity group) rose $112 million (41 percent) to $384 million in June 2015. The rise was driven by higher prices, with the quantity exported being up 10 percent.

The rise was led by pine logs to Korea, up $92 million.

Meat and edible offal (New Zealand’s second-largest export commodity group) rose $89 million (17 percent). The rise was due to higher prices, with the quantity being up 2.7 percent. Frozen beef led the rise, up $64 million (28 percent).

Other key changes in commodity group export values, for June 2015:

  • fruit rose $87 million (31 percent), led by kiwifruit.
  • milk powder, butter, and cheese fell $320 million (29 percent), led by milk powder, down $229 million (33 percent).

Australia top destination for monthly exports

Australia has regained its position from China as New Zealand’s largest goods export destination – on a monthly basis. Monthly exports to China had been ahead of Australia since December 2014.

Annual two-way trade with China was 12 percent lower than the peak in the year ended May 2014. For the year ended June 2015 it was $17.6 billion.

The monthly movements for June 2015 for these export destinations (ranked by total annual exports) were:

  1. Australia – down $22 million (2.9 percent), led by vessels (down $31 million).
  2. China – up $20 million (2.9 percent), led by a 96 percent rise in frozen beef (up $27 million).
  3. United States – up $51 million (11 percent), led by frozen beef (up $32 million).
  4. European Union (EU) – up $27 million (6.2 percent), due to fruit.
  5. Japan – up $9 million (3.5 percent), led by kiwifruit.

Monthly imports rise 9.0 percent

In June 2015, imported goods were valued at $4.3 billion, up $355 million (9.0 percent) from June 2014. Consumption and intermediate goods rose. Capital goods recorded a small fall (2.2 percent) as transport equipment fell and machinery and plant rose.

Significant movements include:

  • Consumption goods from China rose $56 million, led by clothing.
  • Machinery and plant from China rose $54 million, led by mobile phones.
  • Machinery and plant from Singapore rose $37 million, led by communication devices.
  • Transport equipment from Thailand rose 31 million, led by goods vehicles.
  • Transport equipment from the United States fell $205 million, as a large aircraft was imported in June 2014 with no similar imports in June 2015.

Crude oil imports increased from Russia (up $124 million) and Qatar (up $46 million). We didn’t import crude oil from those countries in June 2014. Crude oil imports fell from Saudi Arabia (down $152 million), and the United Arab Emirates (down $100 million).

Processed fuels and lubricants (such as diesel) from Japan rose $44 million, and fell $26 million from Korea.

Trade deficit in June 2015 is $60 million

In June 2015, there was a trade deficit of $60 million (1.4 percent of exports). The previous five June months were surpluses, averaging 6.6 percent of exports.

For the year ended June 2015, the annual trade deficit was $2.8 billion (5.9 percent of exports). This was the largest since the year ended June 2009, which was $3.1 billion (7.2 percent of exports).

Exchange rate movements

According to the Reserve Bank’s trade weighted index, the New Zealand dollar was 4.6 percent lower in June 2015 than in May 2015, and 10.5 percent lower than in June 2014.

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

 


 

 

 


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