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Merchandise Trade Deficit Confirmed

The provisional value of merchandise exports for October 2002 is $2,481 million, according to updated figures from Statistics New Zealand. Merchandise imports are $3,177 million, giving a merchandise trade deficit of $696 million or 28.0 percent of merchandise exports for the month.

As a percentage of exports, this is the largest deficit for an October month since 1989. Monthly trend values indicate that exports are declining and imports are rising. The merchandise trade balance shows a widening deficit for the latest five months.

Dairy products; fruit; and fish, crustaceans and molluscs are the main contributors to the lower export value in October 2002, when compared with October 2001. Fruit values are low for October 2002 because the kiwifruit export season started and finished early this year.

For the year ended October 2002, the updated merchandise exports value is $31,429 million, down 4.4 percent from the October 2001 year.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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