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Drop in beef and lamb exports to top markets
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  24 August 2016

Overseas Merchandise Trade: July 2016  –  Media Release

Beef and lamb exports to key markets fell in July, slicing into overall meat exports, Statistics NZ said today. In the month of July 2016, total exports were $4.0 billion and total imports were $4.4 billion.

Beef export values and quantities to the United States were down in July while lamb values and quantities to the European Union were also down. The United States and the EU are the largest export destinations for beef and lamb, respectively.

Overall, meat and edible offal exports in July were down 19 percent on July 2015, to $408 million. The largest fall was in lamb exports, which fell 29 percent in value and 25 percent in quantity.

"The meat export falls this month are partly due to record meat exports this time last year," international statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said. "Meat values in July 2015, off the back of a record high meat season, were 31 percent higher than the average value for the previous five July months."

Dairy exports also fell in July (down $88 million). Milk powder fell $118 million but was partly offset by rises in butter and natural milk constituents. The fall in value of milk powder was price driven, as the quantity rose 0.9 percent.

Algeria, our third-largest destination for milk powder, had the largest fall in July – the value fell 55 percent and the quantity fell 45 percent.

"Algeria's export revenue relies heavily on energy exports. It's been hit hard by the recent falls in the global price of oil," Mr Attewell said.

Crude oil imports into New Zealand fell by almost half in July, accounting for just over one-third of the $503 million fall in overall goods imports. The fall in crude oil came from both the falling global price of oil and a drop in the quantity imported.

The balance between overall exports and imports meant a goods trade deficit of $433 million in July.

This release focuses on our goods trade. For the year ended March 2016, goods made up 70 percent of total exports, and 75 percent of total imports. Goods and Services Trade by Country: Year ended June 2016 will be available on 2 September 2016

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Stuart Jones, 03 964 8821, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 24 August 2016

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