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Annual trade deficit largest since January 2009

By   /  October 25, 2018  /  Comments Off on Annual trade deficit largest since January 2009

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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

25 October 2018, 10:45am

Annual imports of fuels and crude oil rose sharply, driving the trade deficit to $5.2 billion for the September 2018 year, Stats NZ said today.

This year’s trade deficit is the largest annual trade deficit since January 2009.

The deficit widened as imports, especially of fuels, crude oil, and machinery, rose faster than exports, which were led by dairy and meat.

Annual imports for the year ended September 2018 were $62.2 billion, up $8.1 billion (15 percent) from last year. Annual exports for the September 2018 year were $57.0 billion, up $5.9 billion (11 percent) from last year. Both exports and imports reached new highs.

The Reserve Bank trade weighted index (TWI) (measuring the New Zealand dollar against the currencies of key trading partners), has generally been falling since a year ago.

“A falling New Zealand dollar has an upward effect on both export and import prices and their New Zealand-dollar values,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. “Higher international prices of crude oil have also been a factor in the rise of imports.”

Imports of petroleum and products for the year ended September 2018 were $7.1 billion, up $2.0 billion (39 percent) from last year. The biggest changes were:

  • fuels, up $1.0 billion
  • crude oil, up $919 million, mainly reflecting higher international crude oil prices.

Other large increases were:

  • mechanical machinery and equipment (which includes products like turbo-jets and turbo-propellers, bulldozers and excavators, and computers) up $1.2 billion to $8.8 billion
  • vehicles, parts, and accessories, up $715 million to $9.4 billion.

Text alternative for Imports by broad economic category

For the year ended September 2018, the value of dairy exports increased $1.3 billion (10 percent) to $14.4 billion. Milk fats, including butter, led this rise, up $965 million, and milk powder exports also increased, up $315 million.

Meat exports rose $1.2 billion to $7.4 billion. Sheep meat exports increased $803 million, and beef was up $348 million.

Overseas trade visualisation

Overseas trade visualisation is a tool that shows the contributors to total exports and how exports change over time. Data is for the year ended June and is compiled using the level of processing classification.

Text alternative for Imports by broad economic category

The column-scatter graph shows the values of imports by broad economic category for the year ended September 2018 compared with each category’s high. Capital – machinery and plant imports were $9.9 billion, the highest value for this category for all September years. Capital-transport equipment imports were $3.8 billion, the highest value for all September years. Intermediate crude oil imports were $3.9 billion compared with its high of $5.5 billion in 2012. Other intermediate goods imports were $22.1 billion, the category’s highest value. Consumption goods imports were $15.3 billion, the highest value for this category. Passenger motor cars imports were $5.5 billion, the highest value for this category. Petrol and avgas imports were $1.2 billion compared with its category high of $1.7 billion in 2012. Other goods imports were $0.6 billion, the highest value for this category.

MIL OSI

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