Goods exported rose 0.6 percent to NZD 4.4 billion compared with December 2014. The rise was led by logs (up NZD 45 million) and wine (up NZD 32 million). Milk powder, butter, and cheese fell 2.9 percent (NZD 41 million) while the quantity exported rose to a record high of 374,000 tonnes. Imported goods were valued at NZD 4.5 billion, down 2.6 percent (NZD 120 million) from December 2014.
In 2015 there was an annual trade deficit of NZD 3.5 billion (7.2 percent of exports). This is larger than the deficit of NZD 1.2 billion for the December 2014 year, and is the largest December year deficit since 2008.
Annual exports were valued at NZD 49.0 billion, down NZD 1.1 billion (2.2 percent) from the December 2014 year. Milk powder, butter, and cheese fell NZD 3.0 billion to NZD 11.5 billion, with China accounting for two-thirds of the fall. Despite the fall in the value of dairy exports, the quantity of milk powder, butter, and cheese rose to a new record high of 2.9 million tonnes (up 2.9 percent from the previous high in 2014). The quantity exported to China was 21 percent of the total in 2015, down from 28 percent in 2014.
The value of imported goods was NZD 52.5 billion, a new high for a calendar year. This is up NZD 1.3 billion (2.5 percent) from the December 2014 year. The rise occurred despite a fall of NZD 2.5 billion in the total value of petroleum products. The rise in imports was broad-based and was led by consumption goods (such as clothing, toys, and games), up NZD 1.5 billion (13 percent). Capital goods rose NZD 526 million, led by machinery and plant (up NZD 452 million). Intermediate goods fell NZD 862 million (3.9 percent), led by a fall of NZD 1.6 billion (33 percent) in crude oil on the back of lower prices. The average price of crude oil in 2015 was about one-third lower than it was in 2014.
“The depreciating New Zealand dollar has an upward effect on import and export prices,” international statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said. “Imports rose NZD 1.3 billion, but exports fell NZD 1.1 billion as the impact of falls in world prices, such as for dairy products, was greater than the upward exchange rate effect.”