Fast Facts

Fall in quarterly exports despite rise in dairy

A nearly 10 percent rise in dairy product exports in the December 2016 quarter partly offset falls for other products, Statistics New Zealand said.

Overall, exports fell 0.8 percent to $12 billion in the December 2016 quarter, after adjusting for typical seasonal trade patterns.

In the December 2016 quarter, milk powder, butter, and cheese, our largest export commodity group, rose $262 million (9.6 percent) from the September 2016 quarter, and has been rising since the March 2016 quarter. Rising dairy product exports are still 28 percent lower than the high of the December 2013 quarter.

“In the past few years, dairy prices have been lower while quantities have generally been rising,” international statistics manager Nicola Growden said. “This quarter, quantities are down but a higher price meant values still rose.”

Crude oil led the fall in exports, down by an unadjusted 37 percent ($76 million).

The value of crude oil annual exports has been falling since the high of 2008 ($2.8 billion), and was $583 million in 2016.

This is the lowest annual crude oil value since 2006 ($484 million).

The amount of crude oil exported has been falling since the high of 2008, and is now 52 percent lower than it was eight years ago.

Other key movements in the December 2016 quarter included a fall in the value of forestry product exports, down 5.4 percent ($58 million) to $1.0 billion, and a rise in the value of fruit, up 20 percent ($130 million) to $794 million.

The seasonally adjusted value of goods imports fell 1.9 percent, to $13 billion, led by a fall in capital goods.

The seasonally adjusted quarterly trade deficit was $1.0 billion, equivalent to 8.5 percent of exports.

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