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Petrol and chemical products lead fall for manufacturing

The volume of both petroleum and chemical product manufacturing sales dropped in the June 2018 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

The total volume of manufacturing sales fell 1.2 percent in the June 2018 quarter compared with the March 2018 quarter, when adjusted for seasonal effects. This was the largest fall in five years, partly due to one-off events in the petroleum and chemicals sectors.

The total volume of manufacturing fell in the June 2018 quarter, after a moderate rise in both the March 2018 and December 2017 quarters, up 1.0 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Nine of the 13 industries saw rises in sales volumes in the June 2018 quarter. The largest movements were petrol and coal product manufacturing (down 8.0 percent), and chemical, plastics, and rubber manufacturing (down 7.9 percent).

“The fall in petroleum product manufacturing was a consequence of the maintenance shutdown at the Marsden Point refinery,” manufacturing statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

Refining NZ reported the first total refinery shutdown in 14 years. The refinery is now back up and running, with the effect of this likely to be seen in manufacturing statistics in the September 2018 quarter.

Chemical, plastics, and rubber product manufacturing volumes had the largest fall in 10 years.

“The fall coincided with an unscheduled outage and maintenance of a processing plant, resulting in gas restrictions affecting methanol production,” Ms. Chapman said.

The two largest increases were meat and dairy product manufacturing (up 1.6 percent) and transport equipment and machinery (up 2.7 percent).

In current prices, sales values for the June 2018 quarter rose 1.8 percent ($496 million) when compared with the March 2018 quarter. This was the ninth consecutive quarterly increase in values.

The actual volume of total manufacturing sales was up 1.6 percent from the previous June quarter. When price changes are included, the value of manufacturing sales was $28.2 billion in the June 2018 quarter, up $1.6 billion from the June 2017 quarter.

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