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Quarterly Exports Value Remains Unchanged

Quarterly Exports Value Remains Unchanged

The seasonally adjusted value of exports for the current quarter remains unchanged for the second consecutive quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. The quarterly exports trend is now flat after declining for eight quarters following a peak in the June 2001 quarter. Over the same time, the exchange rate has generally appreciated, which has a downward influence on export prices.

An increase in export values for milk powder, butter and cheese; casein and caseinates; and aluminium and aluminium articles was offset by lower export values for fruit, wool and electrical machinery and equipment. These were the main contributors to the current quarter's result.

Of the major commodity groups, the seasonally adjusted value of milk powder, butter and cheese recorded the highest increase in the current quarter. The trend in export values for milk powder, butter and cheese has been increasing over the latest two quarters since falling for eight consecutive quarters following a peak in the June 2001 quarter. Seasonally adjusted quantities of exported milk powder, butter and cheese all increased in the current quarter.

The updated value of merchandise exports for the December 2003 month is $2,287 million, down 4.2 percent on the December 2002 month. The merchandise imports value for the December 2003 month is $2,806 million, resulting in an updated trade deficit of $519 million, or 22.7 percent of exports.

For the year ended December 2003, the value of merchandise exports is $28,376 million, 8.6 percent lower than the previous December year. This results in an updated annual trade deficit of $3,413 million or 12.0 percent of exports. This update confirms the deficit as being the second largest deficit, as a percentage of exports, recorded over the past 10 December years.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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