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Export Prices Boost Terms of Trade

12 June 2006

Export Prices Boost Terms of Trade

The merchandise terms of trade rose 1.1 percent in the March 2006 quarter, due to merchandise export prices rising (up 3.2 percent) more than merchandise import prices (up 2.1 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. However, the seasonally adjusted merchandise export volumes fell 2.4 percent, while seasonally adjusted merchandise import volumes rose 0.5 percent in the March 2006 quarter.

The merchandise export price index rose 3.2 percent in the March 2006 quarter, its largest rise since the June 2004 quarter, when the index rose 7.2 percent. The most significant upward contributor to the increase was the non-food manufactures index (up 5.9 percent), which was predominantly driven by a 22.6 percent increase in aluminium prices.

Seasonally adjusted merchandise export volumes fell 2.4 percent in the March 2006 quarter. A 17.2 percent drop in exported meat volumes was the main contributor to the fall, which saw the volume of meat exports at its lowest since the December 2002 quarter. Beef and veal (down 20.4 percent) and lamb (down 13.7 percent) were the main contributors to the fall.

The merchandise import price index rose 2.1 percent in the March 2006 quarter. Rises in the transport equipment, and petroleum and petroleum products indexes were the major contributors to the overall increase. Seasonally adjusted merchandise import volumes rose 0.5 percent during the March 2006 quarter. Fuels and lubricants were the main contributors to this rise. Crude oil and petroleum were the most significant commodities to rise this quarter.

Geoff Bascand

Acting Government Statistician


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