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Integrated trade and business statistics

This is a discussion about the characteristics of New Zealand's importing and exporting traders in 2011, using an experimental series known as the BF\Trade match.

Our import and export goods statistics, overseas merchandise trade, use data from documents lodged with the New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS).

The BF\Trade match merges overseas merchandise trade data, using the client codes (NZCS reference numbers), with our register of economically significant businesses operating in New Zealand, known as the Business Frame.

This produces a close, but imperfect, match between the two sets of data.

For the purpose of this discussion, if no match to the Business Frame has been made, the NZCS client code has been used to represent an individual company or person. Merchandise trade statistics only include transactions valued at $1,000 or more.

Summary of import and export activity

The majority of New Zealand's exporters and importers are small companies or people, and contribute a small proportion of total trade. In 2011, 59 percent of exporters traded with a single country and contributed 6.2 percent of total exports. Sixty-one percent of importers traded with a single country, and contributed only 3.3 percent of total imports. Approximately 82 percent of both exporters and importers traded with one to three countries.

At the other end of the scale, in 2011, New Zealand's top 100 exporters contributed 71 percent of the total exports value, and the top 100 importers contributed 48 percent of the imports value. Only 5.4 percent of exporting companies, and 5.4 percent of importing companies traded with 10 or more countries. Twelve percent of exporters, and 7.5 percent of importers, had combined transactions valued at more than $1 million for the year.

Counts of importers and exporters

Using the BF\Trade match is a more accurate measure of the number of exporters than simply analysing the client codes provided with the customs data. This is because a single company may import or export using multiple client codes.

Figure 1

Value of trade and number of traders 

Table 1

Top contributing companies
By value
Year ended December 2011

Top companies

Exports fob
(NZ$ million)

Percentage
of exports

Percentage
of exporters

Imports cif
(NZ$ million)

Percentage
of imports

Percentage
of importers

10

19,460

41

0.1

11,446

24

0.0

20

23,538

49

0.1

14,124

30

0.0

50

29,445

62

0.3

18,361

39

0.1

100

33,637

71

0.6

22,407

48

0.2

500

42,433

89

3.2

33,444

71

1.1

1000

45,040

94

6.4

37,710

80

2.1

Total

47,702

100

100

46,896

100

100

Figure 1 and table 1 both show that a small number of companies are responsible for the majority of trade (exports and imports in terms of value). New Zealand's top 100 exporters contributed 71 percent of the total exports value for the year, and the top 100 importers contributed 48 percent of the total imports value.

Figure 2

Traders contribution to total trade 

In 2011, 59 percent of exporters had total exports summing to less than $50,000, and 12 percent of exporters contributed more than $1 million for the year. More importers had low value contributions in 2011, with 69 percent importing less than $50,000, and only 7.5 percent importing more than $1 million worth of goods.

Trading country

Country of destination is the country measure used for exports, and shows the intended destination for the commodity. Country of origin is the country measure used in imports, and the country where the goods were made. This may differ from the country of export, which shows the country where the goods were dispatched.

Figure 3

Number of countries traded with 

Figure 3 shows what proportion of companies traded with multiple countries in 2011. Approximately 82 percent of both exporters and importers traded with one, two, or three countries. Only 5.4 percent of exporting companies, and 5.4 percent of importing companies traded with 10 or more countries.

Table 2

Top 10 countries of destination / countries of origin
By value
Year ended December 2011

Country of
destination

Number of
exporters(1)

Exports fob
(NZ$ million)

Country
of origin

Number of
importers(1)

Imports cif
(NZ$ million)

Australia

8,883

10,848

China

16,457

7,439

China

1,290

5,887

Australia

14,664

7,369

United States

2,989

3,997

United States

17,220

5,026

Japan

1,121

3,441

Japan

5,433

2,921

Korea

692

1,675

Singapore

1,858

2,163

Great Britain

1,896

1,545

Germany

5,939

1,994

India

496

938

Malaysia

2,139

1,478

Taiwan

626

899

Korea

2,810

1,454

Malaysia

792

875

Thailand

2,472

1,330

Indonesia

401

856

Great Britain

8,165

1,267

 1. An individual company may trade with multiple countries, and therefore be included
multiple times in the count of exports and importers columns.

Table 3

Top 10 countries of destination / countries of origin
By number of traders
Year ended December 2011

Country of
destination

Number of
exporters(1)

Exports fob
(NZ$ million)

Country
of origin

Number of
importers(1)

Imports cif
(NZ$ million)

Australia

8,883

10,848

United States

17,220

5,026

United States

2,989

3,997

China

16,457

7,439

Fiji

2,246

343

Australia

14,664

7,369

Great Britain

1,896

1,545

Great Britain

8,165

1,267

Singapore

1,493

813

Germany

5,939

1,994

Hong Kong

1,400

798

Japan

5,433

2,921

China

1,290

5,887

Italy

4,760

837

Cook Islands

1,225

101

Taiwan

4,687

692

Samoa

1,198

135

India

3,141

379

Japan

1,121

3,441

France

2,899

946

 1. An individual company may trade with multiple countries, and therefore be included
multiple times in the count of exporters and importers columns.

For exports, Australia is the most popular trading country, in terms of both value and the number of exporters. China is the next largest trading partner by value, however is ranked sixth in terms of number of exporters. This results in a large average export value of $4.6 million per company, compared to $1.2 million per company for Australia.

For imports, China is the largest trading country by value, and second in terms of count of importers.

ANZSIC classification

Statistics NZ uses the Australia New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) to break down most of its economic and financial statistics by standard industries. By aggregating the overseas trade records of individual businesses (within an industry), the resulting ANZSIC values are a good record of which industries did the exporting or importing of goods. The resulting figures do not necessarily indicate which industry produced or used the goods.

Figure 4

Percentage of trade by ANZSIC 

Table 4

Overseas merchandise trade
By one-digit ANZSIC06 code
Year ended December 2011

One-digit
ANZSIC code

Description

Number of
exporters

Exports fob
(NZ$ million)

Number of
importers

Imports cif
(NZ$ million)

A

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

386

868

731

99

B Mining

50

2,965

84

188

C Manufacturing

3,336

29,476

4,573

13,091

D Electricity, gas, water, and waste services

35

126

96

293

E Construction

324

96

1,415

500

F Wholesale trade

4,327

8,139

8,071

19,234

G Retail trade

1,119

487

4,599

3,189

H Accommodation and food services

54

27

480

30

I Transport, postal, and warehousing

316

251

541

1,634

J Information media and telecommunications

170

28

476

307

K Financial and insurance services

195

1,406

478

664

L Rental, hiring, and real estate services 

269

263

849

328

M Professional, scientific, and technical services

840

1,112

2,213

3,407

N Administrative and support services

176

135

539

68

O Public administration and safety

64

46

164

766

P Education and training

62

12

302

45

Q Health care and social assistance

75

12

545

79

R Arts and recreation services

116

11

478

50

S Other services

275

76

1,213

176

X(1) Unmatched or unknown

3,494

2,167

19,442

2,748

 1. This series has a large proportion of companies or individuals which are not matched to the Business Frame.
For this reason, the series is experimental.

Figure 4 and table 4 both show that the manufacturing and wholesale trade industries were the major contributors to exports and imports for the year ended December 2011.

Further information

If you have any questions, or would like further information, please email overseastrade@stats.govt.nz.

Published 20 December 2012

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