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June Quarter Export Values Down

June Quarter Export Values Down

The seasonally adjusted value of merchandise exports decreased 4.1 percent in the June 2003 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This follows a 1.5 percent decrease in the March 2003 quarter and a 2.7 percent decrease in the December 2002 quarter. The seasonally adjusted value of merchandise imports increased 1.3 percent in the June 2003 quarter.

The main contributors to the decline in the seasonally adjusted export value in the June 2003 quarter were meat, dairy products and seafood. Fruit exports, however, were relatively high following the late start to the apple export season.

Quarterly export trend values have continued declining since the high point of the June 2001 quarter. The trend value for the June 2003 quarter is 15.2 percent lower than for the June 2001 quarter.

The New Zealand dollar, as measured by the trade weighted index, rose 0.9 percent in the June 2003 quarter and is now 22.9 percent higher than in the June 2001 quarter. A higher exchange rate has a downward influence on export prices and values when expressed in New Zealand currency.

The quarterly trend for the trade balance shows a decline for the latest seven quarters.

For the June 2003 year, the updated exports value is $29,242 million, down 9.6 percent from the previous June year, while imports rose 1.1 percent. The merchandise trade balance is a deficit of $2,916 million for the June 2003 year, compared with a surplus of $521 million for the previous June year.

For the June 2003 month, the updated exports value is $2,240 million. Imports are provisionally valued at $2,490 million, resulting in a deficit of $251 million for the month. This deficit is 11.2 percent of merchandise exports, compared with a 6.3 percent average surplus recorded for June months during the previous 10 years. The June 2003 deficit, as a percentage of exports, is the largest deficit for a June month since the 39.7 percent recorded in 1975. Large deficits were recorded in the mid-1970s, following the 1973 oil shock.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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