Higher fuel imports pushed the value of total imports to $5.0 billion in June 2018, Stats NZ said. This is the highest imports value for a June 2018 month.
The increase in total imports was led by petroleum and products (up $257 million). Fuel imports were up $300 million while crude oil fell $35 million in value. Total imports rose $573 million in June 2018 when compared with June 2017.
Vehicles, parts, and accessories fell $14 million in June 2018 when compared with a year ago. Passenger motor cars were down $45 million.
“Following the discovery of stink bugs on four vehicle carriers in February 2018, we saw two record values for car imports in April 2018 and May 2018,” acting international statistics manager Dave Adair said. “This June 2018 quarter has the highest value for car imports on record, despite the lower value in June 2018.”
Meat and edible offal lead exports rise
The value of exports rose $217 million (4.6 percent) in June 2018, led by meat and edible offal (up $58 million). Lamb was the biggest contributor to this rise, with exports to China up $26 million.
Kiwifruit and preparations of milk, cereals, flour, and starch also contributed to the exports rise.
These rises were partly offset by milk powder, butter, and cheese (down $84 million). Milk powder exports were down in value ($162 million or 25 percent) and quantity (32 percent) due to falls across a range of key markets, including large falls to Algeria and China. However, milk fats including butter exports were up $93 million.
The monthly trade balance was a deficit of $113 million (2.3 percent of exports), the second deficit for a June month in the last decade.
Source: Stats NZ