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Overseas Merchandise Trade - June 1999

Overseas Merchandise Trade - June 1999

Merchandise Exports Fall

Merchandise exports, after the removal of seasonal effects, fell for the second consecutive quarter and were 2.4 per cent lower in the June quarter 1999 than in the March quarter 1999.

Seasonally adjusted exports of milk powder, butter and cheese fell for the third consecutive quarter. Seafood exports fell after showing strong growth in the last year while exports of wool and meat continued to fall.

The trend in the merchandise trade balance has continued to worsen in recent months. This is because the imports trend is rising strongly while the exports trend has eased. Declining terms of trade and increased imports of cars and consumption goods have put downward pressure on New Zealand's merchandise trade balance.

For the month of June 1999 the provisional merchandise trade balance was in deficit by $173 million.

For the year ended June 1999 the provisional merchandise trade balance was in deficit by $1,636 million. This compares to a deficit of $599 million for the year ended June 1998. This year's deficit as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product is the highest since the year ended June 1986. However, exports of services, which are measured separately from exports of merchandise goods and include tourism receipts, have shown strong growth in the year ended March 1999.

Len Cook
GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN
9 August 1999


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