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Weaker New Zealand Dollar Pushes Prices Higher

11 September 2006

Weaker New Zealand Dollar Pushes Prices Higher

The depreciation of the New Zealand dollar against our trading partners' currencies was the major driver of price increases for merchandise trade, Statistics New Zealand said today. Merchandise export prices and merchandise import prices both rose in the June 2006 quarter. As a result, the terms of trade recorded a 0.7 percent increase in the quarter. Seasonally adjusted merchandise export volumes rose while import volumes fell.

The merchandise export price index rose 8.0 percent in the June 2006 quarter, its largest increase since the September 2000 quarter, when the index rose 10.6 percent. The most significant contributor to the rise was the food and beverages index (up 7.1 percent), which was driven by higher meat prices (up 7.7 percent).

Seasonally adjusted merchandise export volumes rose 1.5 percent, with dairy products (up 21.1 percent) the main contributor. The dairy products index is at its highest, following a record season for dairy production.

The merchandise import price index rose 7.2 percent in the June 2006 quarter, the largest quarterly rise since the December 2000 quarter, when the index rose 7.8 percent. Increases in the petroleum and petroleum products index (up 20.2 percent) made the largest contribution to the overall rise, due to high crude oil prices (up 15.2 percent).

Seasonally adjusted merchandise import volumes fell 3.0 percent during the June 2006 quarter. The primary fuels and lubricants sub-index was the main contributor to the fall (down 22.6 percent), with crude oil the most significant commodity to fall this quarter.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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