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

 

Overseas Merchandise Trade - February 2001

Data Flash (New Zealand)
Overseas Merchandise Trade - February 2001

Key Points

A merchandise trade surplus of $379m was recorded in February, slightly weaker than the provisional surplus of $413m reported on 27 March.

The average surplus in February over the past five years is $151m. Statistics NZ note that this month's result represents the first February since 1995 that the surplus has exceeded 10% of exports.

The trade deficit for the year to February was $1,123m.

The value of exports for the three months to February was 23.2% higher than a year earlier. With export prices estimated to be running at around 19% higher than a year earlier, today's outcome suggests that export volumes are expanding at an annual rate of around 4-5%.

As the table below shows, growth in dairy exports continues to run around 40% ahead of year earlier levels in February. Exports of machinery equipment rose 8% compared with last February while exports of aluminium were unchanged - both growth rates were lower than their three month average. The slowdown in exports of manufacturing goods likely reflects the impact of weaker trading partner growth. Exports of forest products were 7% weaker than a year earlier, probably reflecting lower demand from Australia and Korea.

The value of imports was unchanged from the earlier estimate published on 27 March. ? The estimated level of imports for the three months to February was unchanged from a year earlier. Excluding `lumpy' imports of capital transport and military equipment, `core' imports for the 3 months to February were 12.2% higher than a year earlier. We estimate that import prices are running a little over 10% higher than a year earlier, implying that core import volumes are broadly flat.

Commentary The final outcome for February was just a little weaker than the provisional outcome which, in turn, was much better than the market had expected, with the surprise due largely to weaker than expected imports - the opposite outcome to that in January.

As the chart below shows, the monthly trade balance has improved markedly in recent months. We expect the annual trade balance (on a merchandise trade basis) to move into positive territory by mid year for the first time since 1995. Therefore, although we foresee further moderation in export growth over coming months, the improving trend in the current account deficit remains intact. As a result, we expect that annual current account balance to decline to around 4.5% of GDP in Q1 2001 and to between 3 and 4% of GDP over the coming year.

Darren Gibbs, Senior Economist, New Zealand


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Marsden Pipeline Rupture: Report Calls For Supply Improvements, Backs Digger Blame

The report makes several recommendations on how the sector can better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from an incident. In particular, we consider it essential that government and industry work together to put in place and regularly practise sector-wide response plans, to improve the response to any future incident… More>>

ALSO:

Oil Scare: Trump Authorises Use Of Emergency Crude Stockpile

The New Zealand dollar fell against the US dollar after President Donald Trump authorised the use of the country's emergency crude stockpile after the weekend attack on Saudi Arabia’s major oil facilities. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Post-Brexit Deal Talks: UK Trade Minister Visits Wellington

New Zealand should get a better deal for exports of sheepmeat, beef and dairy products into the United Kingdom after Brexit, the British Minister of State for Trade, Liz Truss, said in Wellington today. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Very Well: Tamarind Halts Tui Drilling; OMV Assesses Options

Tamarind Resources has halted drilling at its Tui oil field off the Taranaki coast after the first of the three planned wells came up dry. Managing director Ian Angell says that despite the “unexpected” result from the first well, the firm believes the other two prospects are worth pursuing. More>>

ALSO:

Seeking 'Clarity': Crown To Appeal Southern Response Decision, Offers Costs

“It is our intention that the clarity that will come from the outcome of these proceedings will enable the Crown to work with Southern Response to provide a soundly based proactive solution to those people that are affected.” More>>