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Overseas Merchandise Trade (Exports): March 2002

09 May 2002

March Quarter Exports Increase

The seasonally adjusted value of merchandise exports increased 1.8 percent in the March 2002 quarter, latest Statistics New Zealand figures show. The seasonally adjusted imports value for the March 2002 quarter increased 2.3 percent, when compared with the previous quarter.

The increase in the seasonally adjusted quarterly exports value was across a range of commodities with seafood and fruit being the main contributors. Partly offsetting the increase was a fall in the seasonally adjusted value of dairy products (including casein and caseinates), where an increase in the seasonally adjusted quantity failed to compensate for falling prices.

The updated value of merchandise exports for the March 2002 month is $3,026 million. This value is close to the early estimate of $3,020 million published on 29 April 2002. Provisional imports for the March 2002 month are valued at $2,569 million, which gives a trade surplus of $456 million. This surplus is 15.1 percent of exports, the highest percentage for a March month since 1994.

The monthly trend in the trade balance has been showing a surplus since September 2000.

For the year ended March 2002, the merchandise exports value is $32,712 million, an increase of 7.1 percent from the previous March year. The merchandise trade balance for the March 2002 year is a surplus of $802 million, compared with a deficit of $927 million for the previous March year.

Brian Pink Government Statistician

END

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