The country's trade deficit - the difference between import
and export values - has ballooned out to the largest for the
month of August to a $1.2 billion deficit, or 36% of exports.
Skewing the data from Statistics New Zealand was inclusion of
the importing of the oil rig Kan Tan IV, which added about
$200 million to import figures, which reached $4.5 billion,
while exports rose 0.6%, or $19 million, to $3.3 billion.
Without counting the rig import, the August trade deficit
figures were still the second highest for the month of
August. Fonterra's contamination scare is now represented in
the economic data.
ASB economist Christina Leung said the trade balance widening
largely reflected falls in dairy and meat exports.''
The deterioration ... was in line with our expectations, as
the Fonterra contamination scare which took hold at the
beginning of the month disrupted dairy exports to some
countries,'' she said.
Ms Leung said dairy and meat's decline was offset by a
rebound in forestry export volumes and the recovery in US
building demand was likely to support global demand for New
Zealand products in coming months. Westpac senior economist
Michael Gordon said while the trade balance widened, against
expectations of a small narrowing, the underlying picture was
still of a strong uplift in business investment, which had
been ''flat'' for the year to June.''
This actually bodes well for future growth in New Zealand,
though it will weigh on the trade balance in the meantime,''
Mr Gordon said.
New Zealand's $1.2 billion trade deficit
Total: $4.5 billion, up 9.7%, by $398 million.
Led up by ships, boats and oil rig ($200 million) up by $203
Vehicles/parts up by $121 million, or 25%. Fertiliser up by
$71 million, or 253%.
Machinery up by $64 million, or 13%.
Total: $3.3 billion, up 0.6%, by $19 million.
Led upward by logs, wood and wood articles, up by $120
Led downward by crude oil, down 37%, or $47 million. Fruit
(kiwifruit) fell 23%, or by $40 million.
Milk powder, cheese and butter, down by $11 million, or 1.8%
(with milk powder down by $21 million and anhydrous milk fat
down by $18 million, but both offset by skimmed milk powder
up $18 million and buttermilk powder up by $8.2 million)
WHERE OUR EXPORTS WENT
Australia: down 12% to $722 million, led by crude
China: Up 21% to $545 million, led by logs.
United States: Up 8.3% to $268 million; range of
Japan: Up 3.6% to $276 million, led by
Korea: Up 3.2%, to $127 million.
Source: Statistics New Zealand