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September quarter exports and imports increase

Embargoed until 10:45am – 29 October 2008

September quarter exports and imports increase

Compared with the June 2008 quarter, both seasonally adjusted exports and imports increased for the September 2008 quarter, up 5.4 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, Statistics New Zealand said today. This followed a flat exports result and an increase of 8.6 percent for imports in the June 2008 quarter.

Most export commodity groups increased in the September 2008 quarter. Logs, wood and wood articles showed the largest increase while crude oil exports showed the largest decrease – both resulting from changes in quantities exported. For imports, intermediate goods showed a significant seasonally adjusted increase while capital goods decreased.

The seasonally adjusted trade balance for the September 2008 quarter was a deficit of $1.5 billion. This deficit is equivalent to 14.3 percent of exports, and compares with an average deficit of 13.9 percent of exports since the December 2001 quarter, the last quarter to show a surplus.

In the month of September 2008, the actual value of merchandise exports was valued at $3.2 billion, up $234 million or 8.0 percent from September 2007. The actual value of merchandise imports was valued at $4.4 billion, up $845 million or 24.1 percent from September 2007.

The increase in the actual value of merchandise exports was spread over a number of commodity groups, while fertilisers and diesel were among the leading commodities to show increases for the actual value of merchandise imports.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
29 October 2008


See also the Hot Off The Press information release Overseas Merchandise Trade: September 2008 [PDF].


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