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Aircraft Continue to Lift Imports

Overseas Merchandise Trade: February 2006

27 March 2006

Aircraft Continue to Lift Imports

Imports of merchandise goods for the month of February 2006 increased 3.8 percent (up $105 million) compared with February 2005, Statistics New Zealand said today. The main contributor to this was a $207 million increase in aircraft imports. Imports for the year ended February 2006 are valued at $37,931 million, a record level. The annual increase in the value of imports is mainly due to higher import values of petroleum products and aircraft.

Exports of merchandise goods for February 2006 are valued at $2,602 million, which is 1.8 percent ($46 million) lower than for February 2005. The main contributor to the reduced exports value is a decrease of $91 million for meat, particularly beef and lamb. Annually, exports for the year ended February have decreased 1.2 percent to $30,709 million.

The monthly trade balance for February 2006 is a deficit of $257 million (9.9 percent of exports).

On average, the trade balance for February months over the past decade has been a surplus of 3.3 percent of exports. The annual trade balance for the year ended February 2006 is a record deficit of $7,223 million (23.5 percent of exports). As a percentage, this is the largest deficit for a February year since 1976.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

ENDS

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