New Zealand Trade Surplus Narrows Slightly in May


New Zealand trade balance recorded a NZD 358 million trade surplus in May of 2016, slightly lower than a NZD 367 million surplus a year earlier but higher than market expectations of NZD 164 million. Imports were up 5.7 percent year-on-year, the most in four months, boosted by consumption goods while exports increased at a slightly slower 5.1 percent.

Imports increased 5.7 percent to NZD 4216 million. Purchases of consumption goods rose 16 percent, due to non-durable goods (such as tobacco, retail medicines, soaps, and oils), up 30 percent; durable goods (such as furniture, mechanical machinery and equipment, and jewellery) rose 19 percent and semi-durable goods (such as clothing, footwear, optical and medical equipmen) were up 9.3 percent. In addition, imports of intermediate goods increased 1.3 percent and those of capital goods went up 17 percent.

Among import partners, purchases from China increased 3.8 percent, led by rises in electrical machinery and equipment (such as telephones and cellphones), and furniture. Imports from the European Union recorded the highest gain (35 percent), due to aircraft, turbojets and turbo-propellers (including aircraft parts), and tobacco.  Imports from Japan grew 17 percent, led by rises in mechanical machinery and equipment, automotive diesel, iron and steel articles, and optical, medical, and measuring equipment. In contrast, purchases from Australia declined 2.0 percent, led by falls in wheat, motor spirit, aluminium oxide, and motor vehicles and those from the United States shrank 8.1 percent, due to falls in aircraft, maize, and petroleum coke.
 
Exports increased 5.1 percent year-on-year to NZD 4574 million. Logs, wood, and wood articles had the largest rise, up 42 percent. Untreated logs increased 70 percent and sawn or chipped wood were up 16 percent. Fruit exports went up 21 percent: kiwifruit led the rise, up 29 percent, with quantity up 14 percent. In contrast, sales of milk powder, butter, and cheese (the largest export commodity group) fell 9.9 percent.
 
Among export partners, sales to China rose 27 percent, led by logs, wood, and wood articles; milk powder, butter and cheese; kiwifruit; meat and edible offal; and fish, crustaceans, and molluscs. Exports to Australia grew 2.7 percent, boosted by food preparations for infant use and miscellaneous edible preparations. Shipments to the European Union rose 5.2 percent, led by kiwifruit and fish, crustaceans, and molluscs. In contrast, exports to the United States were down 2.9 percent, led by falls in whey and natural milk constituents and beef and those to Japan were little changed. 

New Zealand Trade Surplus Narrows Slightly in May


Statistics New Zealand | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
6/27/2016 12:19:44 AM