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Export Volumes Up, Prices Down

11 December 2006

Export Volumes Up, Prices Down

The seasonally adjusted merchandise export volumes index rose 5.2 percent in the September 2006 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows an increase of 0.5 percent in the June 2006 quarter. The food and beverages index (up 8.1 percent) was the main contributor to the rise and was at a record high. Meat, and fruit and vegetables contributed the most to the rise in food and beverages volumes.

Merchandise export prices fell 0.8 percent in the latest quarter, with falling prices for dairy products (down 3.8 percent) and aluminium (down 2.1 percent) being the primary commodity drivers. Partly offsetting these falls was a 1.5 percent rise in meat product prices.

The seasonally adjusted merchandise import volumes index rose 1.6 percent in the September 2006 quarter, following falls in the previous two quarters. The intermediate goods index (up 5.9 percent) was the main contributor, with crude oil responsible for most of this increase. Excluding fuel imports, total import volumes would have risen by 0.3 percent.

Merchandise import prices increased for the sixth consecutive quarter, with a 1.1 percent rise in the September 2006 quarter. Price increases for petroleum and plastic products were the main reasons for the rise. Annually, the merchandise import price index rose 12.0 percent in the year to the September 2006 quarter.

As a result of rising import prices, coupled with falling export prices, the merchandise terms of trade recorded a 1.9 percent fall in the September 2006 quarter compared with the June 2006 quarter.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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