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Overseas Merchandise Trade (Exports): April 2004

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Exports): April 2004

8 June 2004

April Trade Deficit Updated

The provisional value of merchandise exports for April 2004 is $2,687 million, updating the estimate of $2,710 million published on 27 May 2004, according to Statistics New Zealand. The provisional value of merchandise imports is $2,844 million, resulting in a merchandise trade deficit of $157 million or 5.9 percent of exports.

The underlying trend for the value of merchandise exports has risen 7.0 percent during the last nine months, despite a generally appreciating exchange rate, which exerts a downward influence on export prices. Meat, squid, kiwifruit and apples are the main contributors to the rise recorded in the total value of exports for April 2004 when compared with April 2003. Partly offsetting these higher values were lower values for exported caseinates, milk powder, butter and milk fat.

The trend for the value of exports to Asia has risen 20.4 percent since August 2003. This follows a fall of 28.3 percent from a record high in May 2001. Japan, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan were the main destinations to record higher values over recent months. The main commodity contributing to the rise in exports to Asia was meat and edible offal. Both the value and quantity of meat and edible offal exported to Asia rose significantly to reach record highs in the April 2004 quarter.

For the year ended April 2004, the updated value of merchandise exports is $28,799 million, which is 4.0 percent lower than for the year ended April 2003. The updated annual trade deficit is $3,923 million or 13.6 percent of exports.

Ian Ewing Acting Government Statistician

ENDS


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