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Export and import prices continue to fall

Embargoed until 10:45am – 10 December 2009
Export and import prices continue to fall

Merchandise export and import prices both fell in the September 2009 quarter, down 5.2 percent and 3.9 percent respectively, Statistics New Zealand said today. Both export and import prices have now fallen for three consecutive quarters. Export prices are at their lowest level since the June 2007 quarter, while import prices are at their lowest level since the June 2008 quarter. The appreciation of the New Zealand dollar during the latest two quarters had a downward influence on both export and import prices.

The merchandise terms of trade fell 1.3 percent in the September 2009 quarter, and is now at its lowest level since the December 2005 quarter. The latest fall was due to export prices falling more than import prices, and means that 1.3 percent less merchandise imports could be funded by a fixed quantity of merchandise exports than in the June 2009 quarter.

Food and beverage prices (down 7.2 percent) were the most significant contributor to the fall in export prices in the September 2009 quarter, due to lower dairy product prices. Mechanical machinery prices (down 11.3 percent), non-fuel crude materials, and chemicals and related products were the largest contributors to the fall in import prices. Petroleum and petroleum products were the largest offsetting rise for both export and import prices.

Seasonally adjusted export volumes rose 1.0 percent in the September 2009 quarter. The increase in export volumes was mainly driven by higher volumes for dairy products (up 3.2 percent) and petroleum and petroleum products (up 12.6 percent). Dairy volumes are at their highest level since the series began in the September 1990 quarter, and are over 50 percent higher than the recent low in the June 2008 quarter, which was affected by the North Island drought.

Seasonally adjusted import volumes rose 1.9 percent in the September 2009 quarter, the first increase since the June 2008 quarter. Higher volumes of intermediate goods and passenger motor cars contributed the most to the overall rise in import volumes. Decreases in capital goods had a significant offsetting effect.

Overseas Trade Indexes Prices Sep09 qtr (pdf)

Overseas Trade Indexes Prices Sep09 qtr - Tables (xls)


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