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Oil Imports Up, Car Imports Down

Oil Imports Up, Car Imports Down

Imports of merchandise goods in July 2006 increased $707 million to a record high for a July month of $3,758 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Most imports categories rose in July and for the third consecutive month the main contributor to this increase was petroleum and products (mostly crude and diesel in July).

For the fifth consecutive month, the largest offsetter to the increase in imports was vehicles, parts and accessories (in July, new, petrol driven cars over 3000cc had the largest decrease).

These changes in imports were reflected in changes in the countries of origin: imports from Asia were up by over a third on July 2005, while those from Europe dropped slightly (0.9 percent).

The majority of the increase for Asia came from petroleum and products, while the commodity group with the largest decrease for both Asia and Europe was vehicles, parts and accessories.

Exports increased $587 million in July 2006. The largest contributor to this increase was milk powder, butter and cheese, which was boosted by increases in exports of milk solids, milk fat, and whole milk powder.

The value of wine exported was nearly 60 percent higher than in July 2005, most of which went to the United Kingdom and Australia. Since 1988, these countries have received more than half of total wine exports in all but seven months.

All July months over the past decade have recorded a deficit. However, the trade balance for July 2006, boosted by a one-off import worth $244 million, was a deficit of $745 million, the largest ever recorded for a July month.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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