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Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports):December 2004

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): December 2004

31 January 2005 Imports Maintain High Level

The seasonally adjusted quarterly value of imports is maintaining a high level, following large increases in the first half of 2004, according to Statistics New Zealand. The trend value of imports, which was rising, has eased since the June 2004 quarter. The value of intermediate goods rose 6.1 percent in the December 2004 quarter. Crude oil, partly refined petroleum and diesel were the main contributors to this rise. Aluminium oxide and fertilisers also recorded a rise during the quarter.

The value of imported consumption goods has risen for five of the last six quarters. Food and beverages for household consumption and semi-durable consumption goods were the main contributors to the rise of consumption goods in the latest quarter. A fall in the value of imported machinery and plant partly offset these rises.

The value of this item has fallen for the past two quarters. The provisional value of merchandise imports for the December 2004 month is $3,048 million, up $241 million compared with December 2003. The estimated value of merchandise exports for December 2004 is $2,555 million, resulting in an estimated trade deficit of $493 million.

The trend of the monthly trade balance shows a widening deficit, because the imports trend is rising while the exports trend has eased.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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