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Record dairy and oil boost exports

26 November 2007

Record dairy and oil boost exports

The total value of merchandise exports in October 2007 rose more than a quarter compared with October 2006, Statistics New Zealand said today. The main contributors to this increase were milk powder, butter and cheese, and crude oil – both increased to record monthly levels. Milk powder, butter and cheese exports increased $328 million from October 2006, reaching a record value of $878 million. Quantities were also up on October 2006, but to a much lesser extent, indicating higher export prices. Recent increases in domestic oil production continued to flow through into exports, with petroleum and products increasing $251 million from October 2006.

Merchandise imports were valued at $4.1 billion, the first time in any month that imports have exceeded $4 billion. This represented a 5.7 percent rise from October 2006, which was previously the highest figure on record for any month.

In October 2007, the monthly trade balance was a deficit of $690 million, almost half a billion dollars less than in October 2006. However, to put this in context, October 2006 had the highest deficit on record for an October month (boosted by large irregular imports), while the average October trade balance over the past decade is a deficit of $607 million.

It is typical for the October month to be in deficit – it has been in every year since 1961. Geoff Bascand Government Statistician 26 November 2007


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