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March Quarter Export Values in Decline

March Quarter Export Values in Decline

The seasonally adjusted value of merchandise exports decreased 1.4 percent in the March 2003 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the fourth consecutive fall in quarterly export values. The seasonally adjusted value of merchandise imports decreased 2.2 percent in the March quarter.

The main contributors to the exports decline in the March 2003 quarter were wood and wood articles, dairy products, and aluminium. These were partially offset by increases for meat and fruit.

Export quantities of logs and timber, dairy products, and aluminium fell this quarter when seasonally adjusted, while higher quantities were recorded for meat and fruit. Although quantities and values for fruit increased this quarter, levels are below previous years. An unfavourable climate has affected apple growing conditions, delaying the start to the export season.

The updated value of merchandise exports for the March 2003 month is $2,762 million.

Provisional imports for the March 2003 month are valued at $2,444 million, giving an updated trade surplus of $317 million. Trade surpluses are usual for a March month.

For the year ended March 2003, the provisional merchandise exports value is $30,267 million, a decrease of 7.4 percent from the previous March year. The merchandise trade balance for the March 2003 year is a deficit of $1,870 million, compared with a surplus of $866 million for the previous March year.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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