New Zealand Balance of Trade Narrows Modestly in August


New Zealand’s trade deficit narrowed modestly to NZD 1235 million in August of 2017 compared to a NZD 1240 million gap in the same month of the previous year and expectations of a NZD 825 million gap. The annual trade deficit for the year ended August of 2017 narrowed modestly to NZD 3.20 billion, from NZD 3.21 billion in July of 2017.

Exports rose 9.0 percent year-on-year in August to NZD 3689 million after advancing 16.7 percent in July. The softer growth pace was mainly explained by milk powder, butter & cheese exports' 2.6 percent fall following a 50.7 percent surge in the previous month. Other relevant declining categories were wool (-23.6 percent), textiles (-23.2 percent), and iron & steel (-12.4 percent). In contrast, fruit exports accelerated to a 28.9 percent growth rate (vs 15.3 percent in the previous month). Meanwhile, on a destination basis, exports to Australia rebounded by 21.6 percent after edging down 0.2 percent in July. Contrastingly, exports to South Korea declined by 13.7 percent after soaring 36.1 percent. Exports to the European Union grew at a softer pace of 8.8 percent (vs 23.8 percent in July); to Japan 8.2 percent (vs 18.7 percent); and the United States 2.4 percent (vs 6.4 percent).

Imports climbed 6.5 percent year-on-year to NZD 4923 million in August of 2017, after increasing 4.9 percent in the previous month. The climb was mainly explained by purchases of petroleum & products, which increased 53.4 percent after a modest 9.9 percent rise in July. In contrast, purchases of vehicles, parts & accessories edged up 0.1 percent in August after a 25.1 percent jump in the preceding month. By country of origin, imports from Japan declined by 14.0 percent after surging 24.1 percent in July. In contrast, exports to the United States rebounded by 8.2 percent after a sharp 31.5 percent contraction in July. 

Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com
9/26/2017 12:17:31 PM