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Record Dairy Season Boosts Exports

Embargoed until 10:45am – 26 July 2006

Record Dairy Season Boosts Exports

In the June 2006 quarter, seasonally adjusted exports of merchandise goods rose 9.4 percent from the previous quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Boosted by a record dairy production season, exports of milk powder, butter and cheese were up 25.6 percent and accounted for nearly half the overall increase.

After a drop in the March 2006 quarter, export values for meat and edible offal increased 18.3 percent, to return to a level similar to the December 2005 quarter. Seasonally adjusted imports rose 1.2 percent on the March quarter. The categories contributing most to this increase were other intermediate goods (up 8.4 percent), within which diesel showed the biggest rise, and petrol and avgas (up 42.8 percent).

The seasonally adjusted trade balance for the June 2006 quarter was a deficit of 13.9 percent of exports.

This compares with deficits ranging from 20.4 to 25.4 percent of exports for the four previous quarters.

Actual values for exports of merchandise goods for the month of June 2006 were up 16.7 percent ($426 million) on June 2005, and at $2,977 million, were the highest ever for a June month. Driving the increase were milk powder, butter and cheese (up $95 million), and meat and edible offal (up $74 million). Imports of merchandise goods also recorded the highest ever value for a June month. They were up 4.2 percent ($127 million) on June 2005, to reach $3,191 million. Petroleum and products (up $37 million) was the largest contributor to this increase.

The monthly trade balance for June 2006 was a deficit of $214 million. This compares with an average June deficit of $89.7 million over the past decade.

Depreciating exchange rates generally have an upward influence on New Zealand export values: the Reserve Bank's Trade Weighted Index shows the New Zealand dollar fell 0.7 percent for the June 2006 month and 8.1 percent for the June quarter.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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