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Financial News: New Zealand August Trade Deficit NZ$1.565 Billion

New Zealand August Trade Deficit NZ$1.565 Billion

09/24/2019 - 19:45:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New Zealand posted a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$1.565 billion in August, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

That missed expectations for a shortfall of NZ$1.4 billion following the NZ$685 million deficit in July.

Exports were up 3.8 percent on year or NZ$151 million to NZ$4.13 billion, exceeding estimates for NZ$4.10 billion and down from NZ$5.03 billion in the previous month.

The leading contributor to the rise was exports of crude oil, up NZ$58 million (591 percent) to NZ$68 million. The increase was due to low quantities of crude oil exported in August 2018, the bureau said. Exports of crude oil fluctuate from month to month and can mean large rises or falls in monthly values.

Fruit rose NZ$57 million (18 percent) to NZ$371 million.

Milk powder, butter, and cheese (our largest export commodity group), rose NZ$32 million (6.2 percent) to NZ$547 million. August is typically the lowest month for exports of this commodity group.

These rises were partly offset by falls in other commodities: liquified natural gas fell NZ$73 million. There were no exports of this commodity this month; and untreated logs fell NZ$51 million (17 percent) in value, and 4.1 percent in quantity. Unit values fell 14 percent.

Imports advanced an annual 2.7 percent or NZ$149 million to NZ$5.69 billion versus forecasts for NZ$5.58 billion and down from NZ$5.71 billion a month earlier.

Intermediate goods (products imported as inputs in the production of other goods and services) rose NZ$113 million (4.7 percent). The rise was led by crude oil (up NZ$73 million), turbo-jets and parts (up NZ$68 million), and fertilizers (up NZ$36 million). These rises were partly offset by falls across a range of commodities, including automotive diesel (down NZ$25 million).

Consumption goods (products imported for consumption) rose NZ$59 million (4.1 percent), led by rises across a range of commodities.

Capital goods (products used to produce other goods and services) showed little change, up NZ$7.4 million.

Machinery and plant rose NZ$20 million (2.4 percent), led by rises in goods such as communications equipment.

Industrial transport equipment fell NZ$13 million (5.1 percent), led by falls in buses, aircraft, and trucks and vans, partly offset by a rise in ships and boats.

The annual trade deficit was NZ$5.5 billion in August 2019, up from NZ$4.9 billion in the year ended August 2018.

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