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Higher fruit exports offset dairy fall
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  25 May 2016

Overseas Merchandise Trade: April 2016  –  Media Release

Goods exports rose 4.0 percent in April 2016, up $166 million to $4.3 billion, Statistics New Zealand said today. Fruit exports led the rise, up $59 million (16 percent), offsetting a similar fall in dairy values.

Gold kiwifruit rose $53 million (53 percent), but was partly offset by a fall in green kiwifruit, down $38 million (35 percent). Apples rose $39 million (29 percent), with apple exports to Taiwan up $16 million (91 percent). Taiwan was New Zealand's top destination for apples in April 2016, beating out the United States and the United Kingdom.

Among other export commodities, untreated logs, foodstuffs such as dietary supplements and savoury fillings, and beef and lamb all rose in value this month.

“Rises in exports of our smaller commodities, such as fruit, are offsetting the falls in the dairy sector,” senior manager Nicola Growden said.

The milk powder, butter, and cheese commodity group fell 6.7 percent to $818 million in April 2016 compared with April 2015. The fall was led by butter, down $33 million, and milk powder, down $13 million (but with quantities exported up 14 percent).

Consumption goods lead rise in imports

Imports of consumer products including clothing, medicine, furniture, and household electrical appliances more than offset a fall in imports of aircraft in April.                                                                          

The total value of goods imported in April 2016 was $4.0 billion, up $58 million (1.5 percent). Consumption goods led the rise, up $129 million (14 percent), with increases across a broad range of goods.

The rise in consumption goods values was driven by the lower New Zealand dollar and higher import volumes. Monthly values of consumption goods have continued to rise when compared with the same month of the previous year (see article: Consumption goods continue upwards trend in January 2016).

Capital goods were down $101 million (10 percent), led by a fall in transport equipment (such as aircraft).

In April 2016, there was a goods trade surplus of $292 million (6.8 percent of exports). This is compared with an average surplus of 11 percent of exports for the previous five April months. There was an annual trade deficit of $3.7 billion, following an annual trade deficit of $3.8 billion in March 2016.

This release focuses on our goods trade. Goods made up 71 percent of total goods and services exports, and 75 percent of total imports for the year ended December 2015. Goods and Services Trade by Country: Year ended March 2015 will be available on 2 June 2016.


For media enquiries contact: Stuart Jones, Christchurch, 03 964 8700,
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 25 May 2016

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