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Dairy drives fall in exports
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  25 March 2015

Overseas Merchandise Trade: February 2015  –  Media Release

Total goods exports fell $608 million (13 percent) to $3.9 billion in February 2015 compared with February 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports led the fall, down 41 percent ($647 million) from February 2014, due to lower prices and a 10 percent fall in quantities exported. Over three-quarters of the drop in value was due to falling exports to China.

“Annual dairy export values are still coming down from the highest annual level, which was in mid-2014, but quantities exported have remained fairly stable,” international statistics manager Jason Attewell said. “Annual values are now 16 percent lower than for the year ended August 2014 and are at similar levels to late 2013.”

Meat values rose $78 million (12 percent) compared with February 2014. Frozen beef to the United States continues to push meat export values to new highs.

Imports rose $139 million (3.7 percent), to $3.9 billion. Consumption goods (such as clothing) led the rise, up 14 percent. Machinery and plant equipment in the capital goods category rose 13 percent, led by mobile phones (personal and business use).

In February 2015, there was a small trade surplus of $50 million, down from the surplus of $797 million in February 2014. The trade balance for the year ended February 2015 was a deficit of $2.2 billion. This deficit represents a $4.0 billion turnaround since the most-recent peak in the August 2014 year.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Jason Attewell, Wellington 04 931 4600, info@stats.govt.nz

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 25 March 2015

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