Key commodity exports of dairy products and meat increased in value in September 2019, but these rises were partly offset by a fall in value of log and fruit exports, Stats NZ said.
In September 2019, the value of total goods exports rose $216 million (5.1 percent) from September 2018 to $4.5 billion, mainly driven by exports to China.
Exports of dairy products (our largest export commodity group) led the rise in exports, up $199 million (28 percent) to $920 million in September 2019. This rise was led by milk powder, up $160 million on a year earlier.
“New Zealand is exporting more milk powder than this time last year (2018) and getting better prices too,” international statistics manager Darren Allan said.
Other main contributors to the rise in total exports were meat and edible offal, infant formula (part of the preparations of milk, cereals, flour, and starch commodity group) and crude oil.
Of New Zealand’s main export markets, China had the largest increase in exports, up $227 million (23 percent) to $1.2 billion.
“Exports to China were the leading contributor to increases in several commodities including milk powder, beef, and lamb,” Mr Allan said.
These rises were partly offset by a fall in forestry products (down $63 million on September last year (2018), led by a fall in untreated logs – down $34 million).
“In each of the last three months, the total value of untreated log exports is down on the same month of the previous year, driven by lower prices,” Mr Allan said.
Kiwifruit exports were down $77 million from September 2018. Although down in the September month, exports of kiwifruit in the 2019 export season to date (April–September) were 4.5 percent higher in value than in the 2018 season and reflect higher quantities of gold kiwifruit exports.
Petroleum and products lead fall in imports
Monthly imports were down $122 million (2.1 percent) from September 2018 to $5.7 billion.
This fall was driven by petroleum and products (down $252 million), led by crude oil (down $181 million).
Other main contributors to the fall in imports were aircraft and parts (down $155 million) and fertilisers (down $74 million). Imports of aircraft and parts are irregular and can mean large rises or falls in monthly figures.
These falls were partly offset by a rise in mechanical machinery and equipment (up $131 million), led by turbo-jets and turbo-propellers ($56 million).
Trade deficit for September 2019
The monthly trade balance was a deficit of $1.2 billion. This is the third monthly deficit in a row.
Source: Stats NZ