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Dairy, beef, and lamb exports rise in October

Exports of dairy products, beef, and lamb, particularly to China, increased in value in October 2019, Stats NZ said today.

However, the rises were partly offset by falls in logs and kiwifruit.

In October 2019, the value of total goods exports rose $206 million (4.3 percent) from October 2018 to reach $5.0 billion.

The rise in exports was led by milk powder, up $194 million (32 percent) from October 2018. The rise was quantity-led, but unit values were also up.

“In each month at the start of the 2019/20 export season, the total value of milk powder exports was up on the same month of the previous year,” international statistics manager Darren Allan said.

“These rises reflect higher export quantities and higher prices.”

Exports of lamb (up $67 million or 27 percent), and beef (up $59 million or 39 percent) were the other main contributors to the rise in exports. The quantity of lamb exports rose 20 percent in October 2019 compared with October 2018, and that of beef exports rose 27 percent over the same period. Unit prices of both beef and lamb were also up on the same month in 2018.

These rises were partly offset by falls in untreated logs (down $93 million), and green kiwifruit (down $47 million).

“Export prices of untreated log exports in October have now increased by 11 percent since a low point was reached in July this year,” Mr Allan said.

“However, the total export value of untreated logs continues to be lower than the same month of the previous year, and in October, quantities were down by 19 percent.”

The monthly movements in dairy products, beef, lamb, and logs were led by exports of the respective commodities to China, New Zealand’s largest export partner.

Exports to China rose $279 million in October 2019. Exports to other main markets were little changed, except for the European Union, down $97 million on a year earlier.

Transport equipment leads fall in imports

The value of goods imports in October 2019 fell $86 million from October 2018, to $6.0 billion.

The leading contributors to the fall were industrial transport equipment (such as railway engines, trucks, and aircraft), down $120 million, processed industrial supplies (such as pharmaceutical products), down $84 million, and crude oil, down $34 million.

These falls were offset by rises in parts and accessories of transport equipment (such as aircraft parts), machinery and plant, and processed fuels such as diesel.

Trade deficit in October

The monthly trade balance in October 2019 was a deficit of $1.0 billion. The average monthly deficit in the previous five October months was $948 million.

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