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Drop in dairy prices leads fall in exports
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  26 May 2015

Overseas Merchandise Trade: April 2015  –  Media Release

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports led the fall, down 27 percent ($323 million) from April 2014, due to lower quantities for whole milk powder and lower prices overall. However, the quantity of dairy products exported rose 1.2 percent overall, led by whey, cheese, and butter. This offset the fall in whole milk powder quantity.

“The value of whole milk powder we sent to China in April 2015 was a fifth of the April 2014 value,” international statistics manager Jason Attewell said. “Volumes were a third of what they were in April 2014, and lower prices made up the rest of the fall in value.”

Other significant commodity group changes were fruit exports, up $62 million, and crude oil exports, down $63 million from April 2014.

Imports rose $104 million (2.6 percent), to $4.0 billion. Capital goods rose $199 million, led by transport equipment (aircraft and parts). Consumption goods rose $54 million, led by food and beverages.

In April 2015, the trade surplus was $123 million (3.0 percent of exports), down from an average surplus of 13 percent of exports over the previous five April months. For the year ended April 2015, the annual trade deficit was $2.6 billion. This is the largest annual trade deficit since the year ended June 2009 ($3.1 billion).

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Stuart Jones, Christchurch 03 964 8700, info@stats.govt.nz

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 26 May 2015

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