Growth in exports was driven by sound increases of the three main commodities: milk powder, butter & cheese (+21.9 percent in October), meat & edible offal (+20.1 percent), and logs, woods & wood articles (+27.1 percent). In addition, crude oil (+136.1 percent), preparations of milk, cereals, flour & starch (+77.1 percent), and iron & steel (+65.3 percent) soared in October. By destination, exports were nudged by China (+35.3 percent) and Australia (+17.1 percent). In contrast, exports to the United States (-12.0 percent) and Japan (-5.4 percent) fell in October.
Meanwhile, imports of the three main commodities grew at a significant pace: vehicles, parts & accessories (+25.0 percent), mechanical machinery & equipment (+33.0 percent), and petroleum & products (+18.0 percent). Fertilizers (+53.1 percent) also soared in October. In contrast, aircraft & parts went down 18.7 percent. By country of origin, imports from the European Union jumped 25.1 percent, mainly explained by a 49.9 percent increase in exports to Germany. Imports to the United States rebounded in October (+11.3 percent) after plummeting 32.1 percent in the previous month.
The annual trade deficit for the year ended October of 2017 narrowed to NZD 2.99 billion, from NZD 2.91 billion through September of 2017.