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Dairy prices lift terms of trade

Dairy prices lift terms of trade

Dairy export prices helped lift the terms of trade to a 37-year high in the June 2011 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The terms of trade rose 2.3 percent, meaning 2.3 percent more imported goods could be funded by a fixed quantity of exported goods than in the March 2011 quarter.

The latest rise was due to export prices rising (up 1.8 percent) and import prices falling (down 0.5 percent).

In the June 2011 quarter, prices for exported goods rose 1.8 percent, reflecting price increases for:

* dairy (up 4.5 percent)

* petroleum and petroleum products (up 12.8 percent)

* meat (up 2.9 percent)

* wool (up 12.2 percent).

In the year to the June 2011 quarter, wool prices increased 58.3 percent to reach their highest level since the December 1989 quarter. The latest annual increase is the largest since the December 1976 quarter.

Prices for imported goods fell 0.5 percent in the June 2011 quarter. The most significant downward contributions came from:

* mechanical machinery (down 3.4 percent)

* electrical machinery and apparatus (down 4.0 percent)

* transport equipment (down 2.3 percent)

* food and beverages (down 2.4 percent).

Excluding petroleum and petroleum products, import prices fell 1.4 percent in the June 2011 quarter.

Seasonally adjusted export volumes rose 0.5 percent in the June 2011 quarter, and are at their highest level since the series began in the June 1990 quarter.

Total export volumes have remained at a high level over the last three quarters.

Non-food manufactures were the major contributor to the overall rise in export volumes, while dairy had the largest offsetting contribution.

Seasonally adjusted import volumes fell 2.4 percent in the June 2011 quarter, the first fall since the June 2009 quarter.

Capital goods and motor spirit were the main contributors to the decrease in total imports in the June 2011 quarter.

A rise in intermediate goods partly offset these falls.

The price and volume indexes for exports and imports are compiled mainly from overseas merchandise trade data.

Overseas Trade Indexes Volumes Jun11 qtr (pdf)

Geoff Bascand

Government Statistician

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