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Export Values Continue to Decrease

Export Values Continue to Decrease

The seasonally adjusted value of merchandise exports decreased 3.4 percent in the December 2002 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the third consecutive quarter to record a decrease. Decreases were recorded in the December 2002 quarter for most of the main commodities, the major contributors being fruit, dairy products, and logs, wood and wood articles.

Although the seasonally adjusted value of merchandise exports has been decreasing, the seasonally adjusted quantities of most of the main export commodities have risen. This suggests a fall in prices for these commodities when expressed in New Zealand dollars or a change in the composition of the types of commodities exported. The rising New Zealand dollar has had a downward influence on export prices.

The trend series, which smoothes short-term fluctuations, shows generally declining exports for the latest nine months. Over this period, trend values indicate an 8.1 percent decrease in export values. For the year ending December 2002, the provisional value of merchandise exports is $31,026 million, down 5.0 percent from the December 2001 year. The deficit of $1,330 million for the December 2002 year contrasts with the surplus of $988 million for the previous year.

The provisional value of merchandise exports for the December 2002 month is $2,390 million, updating the early estimate of $2,370 million published on 29 January 2003. Provisional imports for the December 2002 month are valued at $2,669 million, giving a deficit of $279 million. This deficit, at 11.7 percent of exports, is higher than usual for a December month.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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