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Updated Trade Deficit For July

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Exports): July 2002

5 September 2002

Updated Trade Deficit For July

The provisional value of merchandise exports for July 2002 is $2,549 million, according to updated figures from Statistics New Zealand. Merchandise imports are $2,796 million, giving a merchandise trade deficit of $246 million or 9.7 percent of merchandise exports for the month.

This is the largest deficit for a July month since 1997 when the frigate Te Kaha was imported. Deficits have occurred in July for the latest 11 years.

Monthly trend figures indicate that exports and imports have declined in recent months, with exports declining at a faster rate than imports. The resulting balance shows a small but growing deficit. Lower prices for some of New Zealand's major export commodities have contributed to the deficit.

Average export prices for milk powder, butter and cheese, and casein and caseinates have fallen from the highs of last year and are below average prices of two years ago.

Increased demand in the early part of the 2002 kiwifruit season has resulted in an increase in the export value of fresh kiwifruit. A quantity of 169,052 tonnes of kiwifruit with a value of $420 million has been exported from April to July. This compares with a quantity of 139,984 tonnes and a value of $321 million for the same period last year.

For the year ended July 2002, the updated merchandise exports value is $32,116 million, down percent from the July 2001 year.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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