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June Quarter Import Value Increases

June Quarter Import Value Increases

The seasonally adjusted value of imports increased 1.3 percent in the June 2003 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This follows declines of 1.7 percent in the March 2003 quarter and 2.4 percent in the December 2002 quarter. The main contributors to the increase were capital transport equipment and passenger motor cars. These were partly offset by a fall in value for crude oil and petrol and avgas.

Apart from a small fluctuation in 2002, the quarterly imports trend has been relatively flat since the December 2000 quarter, increasing 0.3 percent over the period.

The combined number of new and used cars imported for the June 2003 quarter was a record high of 69,469 units. The majority of the imports were new and used cars from Japan. Passenger motor cars was the main contributor to the higher value of imports from Japan in the year ended June 2003 when compared with the June 2002 year.

The New Zealand dollar, as measured by the trade weighted index, increased 0.9 percent in the June 2003 quarter and was 8.8 percent higher in the June 2003 month than in the June 2002 month. A higher exchange rate will generally cause a decrease in the price of imports when measured in New Zealand dollars and may lead to increased quantities of imports.

The provisional value of merchandise imports for the June 2003 month is $2,490 million, 8.4 percent higher than in June 2002, but 6.4 percent lower than June 2001. The estimated export value for June 2003 is $2,260 million, 13.6 percent lower than the June 2002 value. The resulting deficit of $230 million for June 2003 is 10.2 percent of exports. The average trade balance for a June month over the previous 10 years has been a surplus of 6.3 percent of exports. Detailed exports statistics will be released on 6 August 2003.

The provisional value of merchandise imports for the year ended June 2003 is $32,158 million, an increase of 1.1 percent from the June 2002 year. The estimated value of merchandise exports for the same period is $29,275 million, resulting in a trade deficit of $2,883 million.

Brian Pink Government Statistician END

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