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Terms Of Trade Fall

Overseas Trade Indexes: December 2001 quarter (provisional)

The merchandise terms of trade fell in the December 2001 quarter, according to the latest Overseas Trade Indexes released by Statistics New Zealand. The 2.2 percent decrease in the merchandise terms of trade is due to export prices falling while import prices rose in the latest quarter. This follows an increase of 1.1 percent in the September 2001 quarter. A fall in the terms of trade means that less imports can be funded by a fixed quantity of exports.

The terms of trade for services rose 0.5 percent in the December 2001 quarter. This was due to export prices rising more than import prices in the latest quarter.

Prices for merchandise exports decreased 1.8 percent in the December 2001 quarter while import prices increased 0.4 percent.

Price decreases were recorded in the latest quarter for exports of non-food manufactures, dairy products and non-fuel crude materials. Price increases were recorded in several of the main import commodities. If mineral fuels (mainly petroleum and petroleum products) were excluded, import prices would have risen 1.1 percent.

Seasonally adjusted merchandise export volumes fell 1.8 percent in the December 2001 quarter, following a small rise in the September 2001 quarter. Decreased exports of dairy products and non-food manufactures were partly offset by higher fish and fish preparations volumes.

Seasonally adjusted merchandise import volumes rose 1.8 percent in the December 2001 quarter compared with the previous quarter. This follows a 1.5 percent fall in the September 2001 quarter. A rise in capital goods volumes was partly offset by a fall in intermediate goods (goods, including crude oil, imported for further processing).

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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