Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Dairy Exports Overtake Travel As COVID-19 Hits

Spending by international students and visitors in New Zealand fell $239 million in the year to March 2020, compared with the December 2019 year, Stats NZ said today.

“This fall is an early sign of the impact of COVID-19 on travel service exports,” international statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.

“International students and visitors faced travel restrictions in the first three months of 2020, especially those coming from China in February, before the border closed to almost all but returning New Zealanders in late March.

“We will see the full impact of the border closure on tourism and travel services in the coming quarters. We already know that many students didn’t get to New Zealand for the start of the academic year and all visitor arrivals stopped in late March.

“That will see exports of travel services drop sharply, until the border is reopened.”

In contrast, dairy exports were up $396 million in the year to March 2020, boosting New Zealand’s trade surplus to $3.5 billion in the March 2020 year, up $1 billion on the surplus in the December 2019 year.

“As the impacts of COVID-19 measures took effect in late March, dairy products have held up total exports and overtook travel exports in revenue for the first time in almost five years,” Mr Dolan said.

Dairy products were New Zealand’s top goods export in the March 2020 year at $16.2 billion.

Travel services was New Zealand’s top services export in the March 2020 year at $15.9 billion.

“Both dairy and travel services are key export earners for the New Zealand economy, making up over a third of our total exports,” Mr Dolan said.

Through the 1990s and 2000s, holidaymakers and international students earned more export revenue than dairy products. In the September 2010 year, dairy export earnings took over and became New Zealand’s top export earner through the dairy boom of 2014. As dairy prices and export earnings fell near the end of 2014, travel took off, as annual visitor arrivals continued to rise.

“The popularity of New Zealand as both a tourist destination and a place to study has meant travel services have been our top export earner since the June 2015 year, but that ended in the March 2020 year,” Mr Dolan said.

Travel service exports are made up of spending by international holidaymakers (other personal travel services), people travelling for business (business travel services) and the tuition fees and living expenses of international students studying in New Zealand (education travel services).

The fall in travel service exports in the March 2020 year was mainly due to a fall in education travel services, down $148 million compared with the December 2019 year. This was followed by a fall in other personal travel, down $106 million.

The Government Statistician authorises all statistics and data we publish.

For more information about these statistics:

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Tiwai Point: Rio Tinto Announces Plans To Close Tiwai Point Smelter

Rio Tinto has just announced that it will wind down New Zealand Aluminium Smelters - the Tiwai Point smelter - saying the business is no longer viable. More>>


Freight: New Report On Auckland Port Relocation

The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. More>>


Chartered Accountants: COVID-19 Fails To Knock Kiwi Investor Confidence, But More Disclosure Wanted

Three months of COVID-19 lockdown and investment turmoil has done little to knock confidence in New Zealand capital markets and listed companies with overall investor sentiment very similar to 2019, an investor survey held in mid June shows. However, ... More>>


Taxation: Black-Market Tobacco Sidesteps $287 Million In Excise Tax

Year-on-year increases in consumption of illicit tobacco in New Zealand have seen illegal trade swell to 11.5% of the total market. If consumed legally, illicit products would have netted the Government $287 million in excise tax during 2019. Independent ... More>>


Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>


XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>


Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>


Electricity: Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future

The Electricity Authority has decided on new guidelines for transmission pricing. James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority says the new guidelines will deliver significant benefits to consumers, through lower electricity ... More>>


RNZ: Economic Activity And Business Confidence Bouncing Back

Two surveys from ANZ show business confidence and economic activity have rebounded, but uncertainty about the future remains extreme. More>>


NIWA: The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken

Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month. Since January 2017 there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature, according to NIWA’s seven station ... More>>


Govt: Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat

Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small ... More>>


Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>


RNZ: Fuel, Alcohol Costs To Go Up From Today

The increase today in the taxes on fuel, road user charges and alcohol is being called a tone-deaf move. More>>


Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>

DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>