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Imports Grow

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Imports): August 2000

The monthly imports trend continues to grow but at a slower rate than during 1999 according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Trend growth in imports this year is also lower than trend growth in exports. This is causing a steady reduction of the deficit in the trade balance trend. The depreciating New Zealand dollar has an upward influence on the prices for both imports and exports.

The provisional value of merchandise imports for August 2000 was $2,745 million. Import values for August have averaged $2,022 million for the previous five years. There were no imports of large aircraft or ships in August 2000 but crude oil imports were higher than usual. The quantity of crude oil imported was 60 per cent higher than the monthly average over the previous 12 months, while the value was 113 per cent ($149 million) higher.

The value of imports for the year ended August 2000 was $29,912 million, up 20.8 per cent from the previous August year. Intermediate goods (excluding petrol and avgas) contributed 45 per cent of this increase, followed by capital goods (excluding passenger motor cars) at 21 per cent and consumption goods (excluding passenger motor cars, petrol, avgas and military equipment) at 15 per cent.

The early estimate for August 2000 merchandise exports is $2,400 million, which would give a merchandise trade deficit of $345 million for the month compared with a deficit of $426 million for August 1999. The average trade balance for the 10 previous August months was a deficit of $208 million. Detailed statistics for August 2000 exports will be released on 10 October 2000.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

END

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