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Overseas Merchandise Trade: October 2017
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  24 November 2017
Key facts

This release refers to trade in goods only.

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

Milk powder, butter, and cheese leads exports rise

  • Goods exports rose $636 million (16 percent) to $4.6 billion in October 2017.
  • Milk powder, butter, and cheese had the largest rise of any commodity group, up $231 million (22 percent) to $1.3 billion.
    • Milk powder rose $132 million (25 percent) in value – quantity was down 4.9 percent. 
    • Butter rose $49 million (38 percent) in value – quantity was down 26 percent.
    • Milk and cream rose $35 million (80 percent) in value, and 32 percent in quantity.
  • Logs, wood, and wood articles (our third-largest export commodity) rose $98 million (27 percent) to $461 million, led by treated and untreated logs, up $83 million. 
  • Meat and edible offal (our second-largest export commodity) rose $63 million (20 percent) to $378 million, led by lamb, up $61 million.
  • Fruit (our fourth-largest export commodity) fell $60 million (41 percent) in value to $86 million.
  • The fall in fruit exports was due to kiwifruit, down in both value (53 percent), and quantity (56 percent).

 

 

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

  • Food preparations (including infant formula) rose $83 million (77 percent) to $190 million.
  • Crude oil rose $33 million (136 percent) to $57 million.

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

  • China – up $261 million (35 percent) to $1.0 billion, with increases including: 
    • Milk powder, butter, and cheese up $99 million (43 percent) 
    • Logs, wood, and wood articles up $91 million (53 percent)
    • Food preparations (including infant formula), up $72 million (346 percent).
  • Australia – up $124 million (17 percent) to $847 million, with increases across a range of commodities, including aircraft and parts (up $27 million).
  • USA – down $46 million (12 percent) to $336 million, led by casein, down $17 million.

Mechanical machinery leads imports rise

  • Goods imports rose $709 million (15 percent) to $5.4 billion in October 2017. 
  • Mechanical machinery and equipment (our second-largest import commodity group) led the rise, up $193 million (33 percent) to $777 million, with increases across a range of commodities, including: 
    • parts of turbo-jets and turbo-propellors, up $29 million (45 percent)
    • computers, up $27 million (25 percent). 
  • Vehicles, parts and accessories (our largest import commodity group) rose $168 million (25 percent) to $839 million.
    • Passenger motor cars were up $71 million. 
    • Trucks and vans were up $59 million.
  • Petroleum and products rose $58 million (18 percent) to $379 million, led by crude oil, up $91 million (49 percent) in value, and 18 percent in quantity. The unit value of crude oil was up 27 percent. Imports of petrol and diesel were down in value.
  • Electrical machinery and equipment rose $54 million (13 percent), led by telephones and cellphones, up $14 million.

The monthly movements for New Zealand’s top import partners were: 

  • European Union – up $197 million (25 percent), led by increases in mechanical machinery and equipment, up $90 million, and vehicles, parts and accessories, up $79 million 
  • China – up $99 million (10 percent), led by mechanical machinery and equipment, up $38 million 
  • Australia – up $96 million (17 percent), with increases across range of commodities, including sugar, up $29 million
  • USA – up $79 million (11 percent), led by vehicles parts and accessories, up $34 million
  • Japan – up $33 million (10 percent), led by vehicles parts and accessories, up $22 million (11 percent).

Trade deficit in October 2017

  • The monthly trade balance was a deficit of $871 million (19 percent of exports).
  • The average monthly deficit in October over the last five years was $909 million (25 percent of exports).

 

Monthly trade deficits can be significantly affected by large value import items such as aircraft. Excluding large value import items in October, the monthly trade deficit was $614 million.

Annual goods imports and exports over $50 billion

  • Annual goods exports were valued at $51.8 billion in October 2017, an increase from $48.7 billion in October 2016. 
  • Annual goods imports were valued at $54.8 billion in October 2017, an increase from $51.9 billion in October 2016.
  • The annual trade deficit was $3.0 billion in October 2017, up from $2.9 billion in September 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
24 November 2017

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