New Zealand Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in February


New Zealand posted a NZD 217 million trade surplus in February 2018, compared with a NZD 42 million deficit in the same month of the previous year and market expectations of a NZD 100 million gap.

Exports rose 11 percent from the previous year to NZD 4.460 billion in February, boosted by higher sales of: meat and edible offal (13 percent), mainly sheep meat (21 percent); logs, wood, and wood articles (19 percent), mainly untreated logs (22 percent); milk powder, butter, and cheese (5.3 percent), mainly butter (28 percent); and fish, crustaceans, and molluscs (31 percent).

Among major export partners, sales rose to: China (12 percent), led by rises in sheep meat and logs, wood, and wood articles; Australia (5.3 percent) and the US (5.1 percent), with increases across a range of commodities; the EU (12 percent), led by a rise in meat and edible offal; and Japan (23 percent), led by a rise in logs, wood, and wood articles.

Imports increased 4.6 percent to NZD 4.244 billion, a new high for total imports in a February month. Mechanical machinery and equipment led imports rise (10 percent), followed by food residues, wastes, and fodder (70.3 percent), mainly palm oil cake (109 percent), and electrical machinery and equipment (13 percent). By contrast, imports of crude oil dropped 7.8 percent and those of vehicles parts and accessories fell 18 percent, led by a fall in motor vehicles (-33 percent).

Among top import partners, purchases rose from: China (15 percent), with rises across a range of commodities, such as fertilisers, and electrical machinery and equipment; the EU (11 percent), led by a rise in mechanical machinery and equipment; Australia (0.8 percent); and the US (2.6 percent), led by a rise in mechanical machinery and equipment. On the other hand, imports from Japan declined 50 percent, due to a fall in vehicles, parts, and accessories (-65 percent), such as motor vehicles (-67 percent) and trucks and vans (-73 percent).

"The delay in final unloading of four vehicle carriers at New Zealand ports had an impact on the total value of vehicle imports in February," international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. "The discovery of stink bugs on these vessels meant that around 8,000 cars could not enter New Zealand as scheduled".


New Zealand Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in February


Statistics New Zealand | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
3/25/2018 10:27:33 PM