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Return to Seasonal February Trade Surplus

Return to Seasonal February Trade Surplus

The provisional value of merchandise imports for February 2004 is $2,394 million, 3.2 percent higher than February 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. The estimated value of merchandise exports for February 2004 is $2,530 million, resulting in an estimated trade surplus of $136 million, or 5.4 percent of exports. A surplus is usual for a February month with 38 out of 45 of the latest February months recording a surplus.

The average trade surplus for the 10 previous February months was 8.0 percent of exports. The most recent February deficits occurred in 2003 and 1992, with deficits of $9 million and $157 million, respectively.

In February 2004, several large aircraft were imported, valued at over $170 million in total. With large aircraft excluded, the trade surplus would have been 12.1 percent of exports. In addition to large aircraft, the main contributors to the higher value of imports were mobile phones, computer equipment and chemical fertilisers. These increases were partly offset by lower values of imports for crude oil, aluminium oxide and clothing.

While the imports and exports trends have risen since the middle of 2003, the trade deficit trend has generally reduced over this time. The value of the New Zealand dollar, as measured by the trade weighted index, has generally appreciated over this period, and is 11.5 percent higher in February 2004 than in February 2003.

The provisional value of imports for the year ended February 2004 is $32,075 million, down $109 million or 0.3 percent, when compared with the year ended February 2003. The estimated trade deficit for the year ended February 2004 is $3,492 million or 12.2 percent of exports. Detailed exports statistics will be released on 5 April 2004.

Ian Ewing Acting Government Statistician

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