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Dairy and oil behind rise in exports again

7 January 2008

Dairy and oil behind rise in exports again

The total value of merchandise exports in November 2007 rose 18.4 percent compared with November 2006, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the second consecutive month to see a large increase driven by milk powder, butter and cheese, and petroleum and products. Combined, these two commodity groups made up a third of all exports and accounted for over 90 percent of the increase from November 2006.

In November 2007, exports of milk powder, butter and cheese increased in value by nearly 50 percent, reaching a new record of $915 million. Whole milk powder exports contributed more than half of this increase from November 2006. Petroleum and products exports also showed a large increase, with crude oil making up most of the change.

Merchandise imports in November 2007 were valued at $3.9 billion, the second highest figure for any month, following the record set in October 2007. The 9.4 percent increase in November 2007 from November 2006 was led by a rise in imports of vehicles, parts and accessories.

Petrol motor cars of engine size 1500cc to 3000cc (used and new) were the largest contributor to this group's increase. In November 2007, the monthly trade balance was a deficit of $646 million, down from the two largest

November deficits, recorded in 2005 ($1.2 billion) and 2006 ($820 million). It is typical for the November month to be in deficit – a November surplus was last seen in 1991.

Geoff Bascand

Government Statistician 7 January 2008


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