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Export Trend Decline Continues

Export Trend Decline Continues

The decline in the monthly export trend that started in March 2002 is continuing, according to latest figures released today by Statistics New Zealand. Prior to the decline, the trend plateaued for 14 months, following a period of growth from early 1999. The provisional value of merchandise exports for July 2003 is $2,325 million, 8.8 percent lower than July 2002. The main contributors to the lower exports value were logs, wood and wood articles; fruit; and petroleum and petroleum products. These falls were partly offset by a higher export value for ships and boats.

According to the trade weighted index, the New Zealand dollar was 14.3 percent higher in July 2003 compared with July 2002. Over this period, the New Zealand dollar rose against all our major trading partners' currencies. A higher exchange rate exerts a downward influence on export earnings when expressed in New Zealand dollars.

The updated merchandise exports value for July 2003 has resulted in a merchandise trade deficit of $456 million or 19.6 percent of the exports.

For the year ended July 2003, the updated merchandise exports value is $29,037 million, down 9.6 percent from the July 2002 year. The year ended July 2003 trade deficit stands at $3,082 million, 10.6 percent of the export value.

Ian Ewing

Acting Government Statistician

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