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Annual exports to China dip below Australia
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  29 April 2015

Overseas Merchandise Trade: March 2015  –  Media Release

The value of goods exports to Australia ($8.7 billion) surpassed those to China for the year ended March 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today.

For the past five months, exports to China and Australia have both fallen, compared with the same month in the previous year. Falls in exports to China were larger than the falls to Australia.

“This is the first time Australia has been our top export destination since the year ended November 2013,” international statistics manager Jason Attewell said.

Total goods exports fell $103 million (2.0 percent), down to $4.9 billion in March 2015 compared with March 2014. Exports to China fell $324 million (29 percent), due to whole milk powder. Exports to Australia fell $26 million.

Goods imports rose $169 million (4.1 percent), to reach $4.3 billion in March 2015. Consumption goods (including clothing) led the rise (up 19 percent).

In March 2015, the trade surplus of $631 million was down from the $904 million surplus in March 2014. Excluding the re-export of a drilling platform to Singapore in March 2015, the trade surplus was $432 million.

For the year ended March 2015, there was an annual trade deficit of $2.4 billion (4.9 percent of exports). This was the largest annual trade deficit since the year ended July 2009.

In the March 2015 quarter, the seasonally adjusted value of exported goods fell 0.6 percent ($70 million), down to $12 billion, compared with the December 2014 quarter. Imports fell 3.3 percent, to $13 billion.

The seasonally adjusted trade balance for the March 2015 quarter was a deficit of $490 million (4.0 percent of exports). Excluding one-off imports, the deficit in the December quarter was $623 million.

Ends

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

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 29 April 2015

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