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Crude oil pushes February imports up
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  26 March 2010

Overseas Merchandise Trade: February 2010  –  Media Release

Merchandise imports rose $37 million (1.3 percent) to $3.0 billion in February 2010 compared with February 2009, due to crude oil shipments, Statistics New Zealand said today. “Excluding crude oil, imports fell $173 million or 6.1 percent in February 2010 compared with February 2009,” overseas trade manager Stuart Jones said.

Crude oil (imported in large and irregular shipments) rose $211 million to $313 million and accounted for 10.5 percent of merchandise imports in February 2010. The quantity of crude oil imports recorded for February 2009 was the lowest for any February month since the series began in 1988, and the lowest for any month since May 2004.

Other notable changes in commodities imported include:

  • vehicles, parts, and accessories, up $65 million
  • sugars and sugar confectionery, up $22 million
  • electrical machinery and equipment, down $87 million
  • aircraft and parts, down $54 million
  • mechanical machinery and equipment, also down $54 million.

The trend for merchandise imports has been rising since September 2009, and has increased 7.9 percent since then. “Although the imports trend is rising it is still almost 20 percent lower than its peak in September 2008,” Mr Jones said.

The value of merchandise exports fell $124 million (3.6 percent) to $3.3 billion in February 2010 compared with February 2009 – the ninth consecutive monthly fall in export values compared with the same month of the previous year. Notable changes in commodities exported include:

  • meat and edible offal, down $72 million
  • casein and caseinates, down $36 million
  • mechanical machinery and equipment, down $26 million
  • logs, wood, and wood articles, up $46 million.

In February 2010, the monthly trade balance was a surplus of $321 million, or 9.7 percent of exports.

Geoff Bascand 26 March 2010
Government Statistician  

END

For media enquiries contact:
Stuart Jones
Christchurch (03) 964 8700
Email: overseastrade@stats.govt.nz.

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