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Exports Trend Continues Rise

Exports Trend Continues Rise

The updated value of merchandise exports for July 2004 is $2,474 million, 7.5 percent higher than for July 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. The trend for the value of merchandise exports has risen 9.9 percent since August 2003. Over the same period, the exchange rate has fluctuated sharply, resulting in an overall appreciation of 4.3 percent in the New Zealand dollar. Exchange rate appreciation generally has a downward influence on export prices.

The main contributors to this month's higher value of exports, compared with July 2003, were frozen boneless beef cuts and edible offal; large aircraft; and pinus radiata sawn timber. Partly offsetting these higher export values were lower export values for ships and boats; and milk powder, butter and cheese.

Pinus radiata sawn timber was the main contributor to the higher value for logs, wood and wood articles in July 2004, up 23.5 percent. The value of exported pinus radiata sawn timber was 49.6 percent higher this month compared with July 2003. The quantity exported was up 34.5 percent. In July 2004 the main export destination for pinus radiata sawn timber was the United States of America, which recorded a 171.1 percent increase in value, and a 125.1 percent increase in quantity, compared with July 2003.

The provisional value of merchandise imports is $2,863 million, resulting in an updated trade deficit of $389 million (15.7 percent of exports). A trade deficit is usual for a July month.

For the year ended July 2004, the updated value of merchandise exports is $30,039 million, up 3.4 percent compared with the year ended July 2003. The updated annual trade deficit stands at $3,420 million, or 11.4 percent of exports.

Brian Pink Government Statistician

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