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Export Volumes Up

Overseas Trade Indexes: December 2000 quarter (provisional)

Merchandise export volumes recorded a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.8 per cent in the December 2000 quarter, according to latest Overseas Trade Indexes released by Statistics New Zealand. Increased volumes of dairy products (up 5.5 per cent), meat (up 8.6 per cent) and non-food manufactures (up 1.8 per cent) were the main contributors to the rise. Wool volumes fell 4.8 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted total merchandise import volumes fell 3.5 per cent in the December 2000 quarter. The volumes of imported capital transport equipment, passenger motor cars, and motor spirit all fell by more than 5 per cent this quarter. However, import volumes of capital plant rose 1.8 per cent, intermediate goods rose 1.5 per cent and consumption goods rose 0.7 per cent. Excluding items valued at $100 million or more each (such as large aircraft and ships), the seasonally adjusted imports volume index was flat.

The total merchandise exports price index rose 9.2 per cent and the imports price index rose 8.0 per cent in the December 2000 quarter. Excluding mineral fuels, the imports price index rose 7.3 per cent. Price increases occurred in most of the main commodities this quarter for exports and imports. A lower New Zealand dollar, as measured by the Trade-Weighted Index which fell 4.7 per cent, was the main contributor to the increases in most export and import prices.

The terms of trade for merchandise rose 1.1 per cent in the December 2000 quarter. A rise in the terms of trade means that more imports can be funded by a fixed quantity of exports. The merchandise terms of trade index has risen for the last three quarters and is now at its highest level since the March 1995 quarter.



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