Exports rose 5.8 percent from the previous year to NZD 4.854 billion in March, compared to a 10.4 percent climb in the previous month. It was the slowest growth since February of 2017, mainly affected by: meat and edible offal (+2.1 percent vs +13.0 percent) and logs, wood, and wood articles (+17.9 percent vs +19.0 percent). Exports were mainly nudged by electrical machinery & equipment (+28.8 percent) and aluminum & aluminum parts (+22.5 percent).
Among major export partners, sales rose to: Korea (18.2 percent), Singapore (16.2 percent), Australia (11.2 percent), the United States (5.8 percent), and the European Union (4.9 percent). In contrast, exports dropped to China (4.3 percent) and Japan (3.9 percent).
Imports jumped 14.1 percent to NZD 4.940 billion, compared to a 5.0 percent climb in the previous month. The jump was mainly explained by an 88.0 percent surge in petroleum & products (vs -7.8 percent in February). Also, vehicles, parts & accessories grew by 7.4 percent after plunging 33.0 percent in the previous month.
Among top import partners, purchases rose from Korea (41.6 percent), the United States (30.0 percent), the European Union (19.4 percent), and Thailand (10.3 percent). In contrast, purchases from Japan declined 8.8 percent.