Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


October Trade Balance: Exports Surging



New Zealand's trade balance improved strongly in October, with import growth remaining at high leve ls but exports surging $260M in the month.

Merchandise imports were $2.95 billion in October, in line with oure xpectations but higher than th ose of the market. This was an increase of 18.6% y/y on October 1999 import levels, almost unchange d from last month's 18.7% growth. October's results follow September's record imports of $3.05B. Th is month's fall in imports of $102M was due to the dropping out of a large aircraft from last month 's figures and a $96M fall in mineral fuel imports - partly offset by higher machinery, fertliser a nd motor vehicle imports.

Despite the lower aggregate level of merchandise imports this month, consumption good imports hit a record high of $780M in October, up 21% on a year ago. Crude oil imports remained solid at $148M, but were lower than the previous three months. Passenger motor vehicle imports picked up $45M from a low September level. Plant and machinery imports remained above $400M for the fourth consecutive month, and are 42% higher than a year ago.

Preliminary estimates put merchandise exports at around $2.72 billion, up a very strong 32.5% on a year ago (and well up on September's 22.1% y/y). Exports were $260M higher than in September. On a trend basis, merchandisee xports are up 26% on October 1999. A breakdown of export components will be available in the final October trade estimates on December 11.

Stronger export growth saw the preliminary merchandise trade deficit narrow from September's -$586M n.s.a. to a preliminary estimate of -$225M n.s.a. in October. This was a little better than the me dian market forecast (-$250M) and considerably better than ours. It represents a solid improvement on last October's $430M deficit. Likewise the rolling 12 month trade deficit fell $205M to $2.91B i n October, its first time below $3 billion since last November. The trend monthly trade balance, wh ich excludes import items of $100 million org reater (such as large aircraft and ships), has been i mproving steadily for 10 months.

Revised October trade numbers, along with the quarterly overseas tradei ndices, are due for release on 11 December.

Grant Fitzner, Senior economist, HSBC

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Talking Up The Economy: NZD Gains On PM's Mistaken GDP Comment

Her comments were downplayed by her chief press secretary who said she was referring the government's June year financial statements and had "made a mistake." More>>


Oxfam: Drug Companies Cheating Countries Out Of Billions In Tax

Oxfam’s analysis suggests these four companies are shifting profits out of countries where they do their business and into tax havens that charge little or no tax. More>>

Off The Lam: 50 Lambs Reported Lost, Found

The sheep had escaped and merged with another farmer’s flock. The combined flocks had been moved to another property before the farmer realised the missing sheep were included. More>>

Rotting Poles: Commission To File Proceedings Against Aurora Energy

The Commerce Commission has decided to file court proceedings against Dunedin-based electricity lines company Aurora Energy for breaching its regulated quality standards in 2016 and 2017. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Rising Cost Of Petrol

As petrol gets more and more expensive, Auckland motorists have several things to blame for it – the slumping value of the Kiwi dollar, Donald Trump’s sanctions on Iranian oil, hurricanes in the Caribbean… But it is simpler and feels better to lay all the blame on the regional fuel tax. More>>