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Imports Growth Stalls

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): February 2001

Imports Growth Stalls

The value of merchandise imports for February 2001 is $2,207 million, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. The rate of growth in the imports trend declined over most of last year and has shown no growth since November 2000.

The value of imports for the year ended February 2001 is $31,170 million, up 13.2 per cent from the previous February year. Intermediate goods (which include crude oil) rose 23.4 per cent in value, while consumption goods rose 11.2 per cent and capital goods rose 10.6 per cent. Excluding items individually valued at $100 million or more (such as large aircraft and ships), the annual increase in the merchandise imports value was 15.0 per cent.

The largest annual increase in commodity values was for petroleum and products, and was mostly caused by crude oil price increases. The quantity of crude oil imported rose 7.4 per cent from the previous February year, while the average price per tonne rose 80.0 per cent.

The early estimate for February 2001 merchandise exports is $2,620 million, giving a merchandise trade surplus of $413 million for the month, compared with a surplus of $43 million for February 2000. Detailed statistics for February 2001 merchandise exports will be released on 10 April 2001.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

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