New Zealand Post Largest Trade Deficit on Record


New Zealand posted a NZD 1560 million trade deficit in September 2018, compared with a NZD 1165 million gap in the same month of the previous year and with market expectations of a NZD 1365 million shortfall. It was the widest monthly trade deficit on record, as imports hit an all-time high on soaring petroleum products purchases affected by higher oil prices. Meantime, stronger fruits exports partly offset a 4.1 percent drop in milk, butter & cheese sales.

Imports jumped 18.8 percent year-on-year to a record high of NZD 5.89 billion from NZD 4.96 billion in the same month a year earlier. Among main categories, imports were mainly driven by petroleum and petroleum products (+86.6 percent), namely crude oil and fuels; electrical machinery and equipment (+16.1 percent); aircrafts & parts (+448.9 percent) and fertilizers (+83.7 percent). In contrast, mechanical machinery and equipment purchases declined 2.9 percent. Among top import partners, purchases were mainly driven by China (13.7 percent), Australia (10 percent), the US (71.7 percent), and Japan (7.5 percent). Meanwhile, imports declined from Korea (-9.6 percent), the EU (-0.6 percent), namely France (-16.4 percent) and the UK (-8.2 percent).

Exports went up 14.1 percent year-on-year to NZD 4.33 billion from NZD 3.79 billion in the same month of the previous year. Among main categories, sales were triggered by fruits (+117.8 percent), mostly kiwifruit; meat and edible offal (+19.8 percent) and logs, wood & wood articles (+19.1 percent). Oil exports (+30.0 percent); iron & steel (+49.9 percent) and wood pulp & paper (+20.0 percent) also increased well above average. In contrast, milk, butter & cheese declined 4.1 percent. Among major export partners, sales grew to China (8.4 percent), Australia (14.7 percent), the US (8.5 percent), Japan (25.6 percent), Korea (54.1 percent), the UK (29.8 percent) and Singapore (109.7 percent). In contrast, shipments went down mostly to Malaysia (-5.5 percent) and the UAE (-8.4 percent).


New Zealand Post Largest Trade Deficit on Record


Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com
10/25/2018 1:22:20 PM