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Strong Growth In Imports

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): February 2000
Strong Growth In Imports

Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show the provisional value of merchandise imports was $2,235 million for the month of February 2000.

Import values are normally relatively low in February, averaging $1,781 million over the last five years. The value for February 1999 was $1,783 million.

For both February 2000 and February 1999 there were no individual import items costing $100 million or more, such as large aircraft and ships. High crude oil prices continued to boost expenditure on mineral fuel imports.

Compared with the previous February year, the main contributor to the imports growth for the year to February 2000 was intermediate goods followed by capital goods, consumption goods, military and miscellaneous goods, and passenger motor vehicles. Intermediate goods are goods that are consumed or transformed in production processes.

Imports from Australia have grown strongly as have imports from Asia, particularly from the People's Republic of China, Malaysia and Japan.

Australia remained our main source of merchandise imports, followed by the United States of America and Japan.

The preliminary estimate for February 2000 merchandise exports is $2,230 million which would give a merchandise trade deficit of $5 million. During the last 10 years the February trade balance has varied from a deficit of $157 million, recorded for February 1992, to a surplus of $308 million, recorded for February 1995. Detailed statistics for February 2000 merchandise exports will be released on 7 April 2000.

Len Cook

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