New Zealand Trade Surplus Narrows in December


New Zealand trade surplus narrowed to NZD 264 million in December 2018 from NZD 614 million in the same month of the previous year and above market expectations of a NZD 225 million surplus. It was the first monthly surplus in seven months and the largest in a year. The annual trade deficit widened to NZD 5.9 billion, the largest since October 2007 driven by a sharp rise in fuel and crude oil imports.

Exports edged down 0.5 percent year-on-year to NZD 5.48 billion. It was the second-highest value on record for monthly total exports, the previous high was in December 2017. Sales were mainly dragged by meat & edible offal (-9.7 percent to NZD 649 million); aluminium & aluminium articles (-40.9 percent to NZD 101 million); and milk powder, butter & cheese (-0.9 percent to NZD 1860 million). In contrast, exports rose for crude oil (117.2 percent to NZD 146 million) and preparation of milk, cereals, flour & starch (54 percent to NZD 190 million). Among top trade partners, sales dropped to the US (-8.8 percent); Japan (-19.5 percent) and South Korea (-7.5 percent). On the other hand, exports to China (+14.3 percent); Australia (+14.4 percent) and the UK (+13.2 percent) increased. 


Imports rose 6.6 percent year-on-year to NZD 5.22 billion, mainly driven by higher purchases of petroleum & products (58.1 percent to NZD 684 million), namely crude oil (80 percent) and petroleum other than crude (17 percent); and aircrafts & parts (509.3 percent to NZD 180 million). Meanwhile, purchases declined for vehicles, parts & accessories (-1.3 percent to NZD 735 million); mechanical machinery & equipment (-3.7 percent to NZD 774 million); food industry residues, wastes & fodder (-47.1 percent to NZD 53 million) and fertilizers (-52.4 percent to NZD 34 million). By main destinations, imports went up from  Australia (+11.6 percent), China (+6.6 percent), the US (+5.8 percent) and the EU (+4.2 percent).

The annual trade deficit widened to NZD 5.9 billion, the largest in 11 years mainly due to sharp rise in fuel and crude oil imports (+44 percent to NZD 7.7 billion).

New Zealand Trade Surplus Narrows in December


Statistics New Zealand | Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com
1/29/2019 10:28:39 AM