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Exports Trend Eases

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Exports): May 2002

The updated value of merchandise exports for May 2002 is $3,074 million, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. The monthly exports trend, after four months of continuous growth, is showing signs of easing. The imports trend continues to rise, resulting in a small deficit in the monthly trade balance trend for the latest four months.

The exports value of $3,074 million for May 2002 is 0.8 percent lower than the early estimate published on 28 June 2002. It is lower than the value for May last year but higher than the value for May 2000.

Compared with May 2001, the main decreases in commodity values are for milk powder, casein and caseinates. Prices of these commodities have fallen to approximately the same level as two years ago. The main increases in commodity values were for kiwifruit and sawn timber. Kiwifruit quantities and prices for this early part of the kiwifruit season are at a higher level than a year ago. The higher New Zealand dollar is having a downward influence on export prices.

For May 2002 the value of merchandise imports is $2,604 million, giving a merchandise trade surplus for the month of $470 million. This surplus is 15.3 percent of merchandise exports for the month. The trade surplus for May last year was $668 million. Surpluses have been recorded for nine of the 10 latest May months.

For the year ended May 2002, the value of merchandise exports is $32,489 million, up 2.7 percent from the previous May year. The merchandise trade balance for the year ended May 2002 is a surplus of $304 million, compared with a deficit of $76 million for the previous May year.

Brian Pink Government Statistician END

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