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Financial News: New Zealand August Trade Deficit NZ$1.235 Billion

New Zealand August Trade Deficit NZ$1.235 Billion

09/25/2017 - 18:46:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New Zealand posted a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$1.235 billion in August, Statistics New Zealand said on Tuesday.

That missed forecasts for a shortfall of NZ$825 million following the NZ$98 million surplus in July.

Exports were up NZ$306 million or 9.0 percent on year to NZ$3.69 percent - missing forecasts for NZ$4.05 billion and down from NZ$4.63 billion in the previous month.

Fruit had the largest rise of any export commodity group in August, up NZ$70 million (29 percent) to NZ$311 million. Kiwifruit led the rise in fruit, up NZ$73 million (37 percent) to NZ$268 million. Gold kiwifruit rose NZ$45 million (55 percent) in value, and 26 percent in quantity. Green kiwifruit rose NZ$28 million (25 percent) in value, and 17 percent in quantity.

Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports fell NZ$12 million (2.6 percent) in value, and 25 percent in quantity. August months are generally lower-value and lower-quantity months for dairy commodity exports.

Other key changes in commodity export values for August were: petroleum products (including crude oil) - up NZ$54 million (56 percent); and food preparations (such as infant formula) - up NZ$44 million (50 percent).

The monthly movements for New Zealand's top export destinations included: Australia - up 152 million (22 percent) to NZ$860 million, with increases across a range of commodities; China - up NZ$85 million (13 percent) to NZ$724 million, led by kiwifruit, up NZ$58 million; and European Union - up NZ$33 million (8.8 percent) to NZ$413 million, led by kiwifruit, up NZ$15 million.

Imports advanced an annual 6.5 percent or NZ$301 million to NZ$4.92 billion versus forecasts for NZ$4.80 billion after showing NZ$4.53 billion a month earlier.

Crude oil led the rise, up NZ$147 million (93 percent). Mechanical machinery and equipment climbed NZ$82 million (13 percent), led by a rise in aircraft parts, up NZ$48 million. Electrical machinery and equipment rose NZ$39 million (11 percent), with rises across a range of commodities. Vehicles parts and accessories were little changed (up 0.1 percent).

The monthly movements for New Zealand's top import destinations were: European Union - up NZ$107 million (12 percent) to NZ$1.0 billion, led by a rise in vehicles, parts, and accessories, up NZ$69 million; Australia - up NZ$48 million (8.2 percent) to NZ$637 million, with increases across a range of commodities; United States - up NZ$37 million (8.2 percent) to NZ$494 million, led by a rise in aircraft, up NZ$18 million; China - up NZ$26 million (2.7 percent), led by a rise in laptops, up NZ$15 million; and Japan - down NZ$50 million (14 percent), led by a fall in motor vehicles, down NZ$46 million.

Annual goods exports were valued at NZ$50.8 billion, an increase from NZ$50.5 billion in July, while annual goods imports were valued at NZ$54.0 billion, an increase from NZ$53.7 billion in July and the annual trade deficit was NZ$3.2 billion in August, little changed from the previous month.

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