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Second February Trade Deficit in Last Decade

Second February Trade Deficit in Last Decade

The estimated trade balance for February 2005 is a deficit of $127 million, or 4.8 percent of exports, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is only the second trade deficit in a February month in the last decade, with the previous one in 2003 being much smaller.

The monthly trend for the trade deficit has been widening in recent months, as the imports trend has risen at a faster rate than the exports trend. Both the imports and exports trends have been rising since mid-2003.

The main contributors to the trade deficit for February 2005, when compared with February last year, were higher values of imported crude oil, partly-refined petroleum and automotive diesel.

Petroleum and crude oil are usually imported at irregular intervals in large shipments, which can cause fluctuations in the value of imports from month to month. Lower values of imported aircraft offset these higher values of imports.

In February 2005, the value of the New Zealand dollar reached a 20-year high. During the month, the dollar appreciated against all our major trading partners' currencies, with the exception of the Australian dollar.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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