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Updated Export Values for February 2003

Updated Export Values for February 2003

The updated value of merchandise exports for February 2003 is $2,323 million, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is $17 million (0.7 percent) lower than the estimate published on 27 March 2003. The provisional value of merchandise imports is $2,319 million, giving an updated merchandise trade surplus of $4 million, or 0.2 percent of merchandise exports for the month.

Trade surpluses are normal for a February month; however, the February 2003 surplus is smaller than usual. The provisional merchandise export value is 11.4 percent lower than February 2002. Dairy products, aircraft and wood were the main commodities contributing to the lower export value in February 2003. Actual dairy product export values were 23.4 percent lower than February 2002.

The trend indicates that dairy exports are returning to levels that existed for several years prior to May 1999.

Meat and edible offal was the main commodity to show a higher value during the month of February 2003, compared with February 2002. Both the numbers of livestock slaughtered and the quantities of beef and lamb exported were higher over the same period. The New Zealand dollar has risen against all our major trading partners' currencies for six consecutive months, generally exerting a downward influence on export prices.

For the year ended February 2003, the updated merchandise exports value is $30,489 million, down 6.6 percent when compared with the February 2002 year. The updated annual trade balance is a deficit of $1,697 million for the year ended February 2003. The previous February year showed a surplus of $499 million.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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