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Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): April 2000

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): April 2000

Imports Growth Slows

The rate of growth in the imports trend has slowed in recent months. Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show that since November 1999 the monthly rate of growth in the exports trend has exceeded the growth in the imports trend, resulting in a steady reduction of the deficit in the trade balance trend.

The provisional value of merchandise imports was $2,386 million for the month of April 2000. Import values are normally relatively low in April, averaging $1,969 million over the last five years. The April 2000 figure, however, includes significant "one off" imports of aircraft. Aircraft and parts imports were valued at $218 million compared with $19 million in April 1999.

The value of imports for the year ended April 2000 was 18.5 per cent higher than in the previous April year. The main contributor to the imports growth for the year to April 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. The value of mineral fuels continues to grow strongly due to the rising crude oil prices for the year ended April 2000.

For the year ended April 2000, imports from Australia, the United States of America, Japan and the People's Republic of China continue to grow strongly.

The preliminary estimate for April 2000 merchandise exports is $2,300 million which would give a merchandise trade deficit of $86 million. During the last 10 years, the average trade balance for the month of April, including April 2000, was a surplus of $170 million. Detailed statistics for April 2000 merchandise exports will be released on 8 June 2000.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN END

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