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Sliding oil import prices, export prices steady
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  01 June 2016

Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices and Volumes): March 2016 quarter (provisional)  –  Media Release

Prices for goods imports fell 4.3 percent in the March 2016 quarter, mainly influenced by oil products, which fell 24 percent. Import prices excluding oil products fell 1.4 percent.

“The drop in import prices this quarter was largely due to falling world prices for crude oil. Import prices are now at their lowest level in nearly 30 years,” business prices manager Sarah Williams said. “With import prices falling and export prices remaining steady, New Zealand's terms of trade rose 4.4 percent.”

The terms of trade is a measure of the purchasing power of New Zealand’s exports abroad. The increase means 4.4 percent more goods imports could be funded by a fixed quantity of goods exports than in the December 2015 quarter.

 

 

The terms of trade for the March 2016 quarter was about the same as the March 2015 quarter, despite rises and falls in both export and import prices during the year. With the large decrease in the price of oil products, overall goods import prices were at their lowest levels since the September 1988 quarter. Oil products represent a large proportion by value of New Zealand’s imports – and as such, the goods terms of trade. Petrol prices, as measured by the consumers price index, fell 7.7 percent in the March 2016 quarter.

Export prices were steady because rises and falls offset each other. Dairy export prices rose in the March quarter, recovering slightly from recent lows. Meat prices fell from a recent peak in the September 2015 quarter. Forestry prices have been consistently rising for the last three quarters.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Sarah Williams, Wellington 04 931 4214, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Teresa Dickinson, Acting Government Statistician, 1 June 2016

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