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Annual Trade Deficit Reaches Record Value

5 January 2006

Annual Trade Deficit Reaches Record Value

Overseas Merchandise Trade: November 2005

The annual trade balance for the year ended November 2005 is a deficit of $6,645 million, or 21.6 percent of exports, Statistics New Zealand said today. As a percentage of exports, this is the largest deficit for a November year since 1975, during the oil crisis, when the deficit was almost half the value of exports.

The monthly trade balance for November 2005 is a deficit of $1,205 million, or 46.6 percent of exports, which is also a record value. On average, the trade deficit for November months over the past decade has been 20.4 percent of exports.

Imports of merchandise goods for November 2005 are provisionally valued at $3,794 million, which is 15.1 percent higher than for November 2004. The main contributors to the increased imports value are aeroplanes and petroleum.

Exports of merchandise goods for November 2005 are provisionally valued at $2,589 million, which is 0.8 percent lower than for November 2004. The main contributors to the reduced exports value are lower values for wood pulp, petroleum, and wood and wood articles. Partly offsetting these lower values is a higher value for meat.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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