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Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): May 2004

June 28 2004

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): May 2004

Trade Surplus of $656 million in May The estimated value of the merchandise trade surplus for May 2004 is $656 million, or 19.5 percent of exports, according to Statistics New Zealand. A trade surplus is typical for a May month. The average May trade balance for the previous 10 years is a surplus of 12.1 percent of exports.

The provisional value of merchandise imports for May 2004 is $2,712 million, which is 2.7 percent higher than for May 2003. The estimated value of merchandise exports for May 2004 is $3,368 million.

The main contributors to the higher value of imports for May 2004, when compared with May 2003, were armoured motor vehicles and new dump trucks; computers and other mechanical machinery and equipment; and wind-powered electric generating sets. Partly offsetting these higher values were lower values for imported crude oil, and aircraft.

The underlying trend for the value of merchandise imports has risen 8.9 percent since July 2003. The New Zealand dollar, as measured by the trade weighted index, appreciated 1.0 percent over the same period. The New Zealand dollar reached a peak in February 2004 and has been depreciating since. A high exchange rate generally has a downward influence on import prices and may lead to an increase in the quantity of items imported.

The estimated value of merchandise exports for May 2004 is 22.7 percent higher than for May 2003. Early estimates indicate that dairy products, meat, and fruit are the main contributors to the higher value of exports for May 2004, compared with May 2003. Detailed exports information will be released on 7 July 2004.

ENDS


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