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Dairy Export Values Recover

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Exports): December 2004

9 February 2005

Dairy Export Values Recover

The seasonally adjusted exports value was 7.9 percent higher in the December 2004 quarter than in the September 2004 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This quarter's rise was accentuated by the unusually low September quarter value.

The main contributor to the rise in the total seasonally adjusted value of exports during the December 2004 quarter was milk powder, butter and cheese. At the end of the dairy season in autumn 2004, tight management of inventories reduced levels compared with the same period in 2003.

This meant lower volumes of dairy products were available for export in the September 2004 quarter. Other significant seasonally adjusted quarterly rises were recorded for fruit, mechanical machinery and equipment, and electrical machinery and equipment. The main contributor to increased fruit exports was kiwifruit, which had a longer than usual export season following a good growing season. Japan was the main destination for exported kiwifruit in the December 2004 quarter.

The value of merchandise exports for the December 2004 month is $2,549 million. The value of merchandise imports for the December 2004 month is $3,048 million, resulting in an updated trade deficit of $499 million, which is 19.6 percent of exports. A trade deficit is not unusual for a December month, but this is almost double the average trade deficit as a percentage of exports for the past 10 December months.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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