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Financial News: New Zealand Has NZ$1.143 Billion Trade Deficit

New Zealand Has NZ$1.143 Billion Trade Deficit

10/25/2017 - 18:30:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New Zealand posted a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$1.143 billion in September, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday - representing 30 percent of exports.

The headline figure missed expectations for a shortfall of NZ$900 million following the NZ$1.179 billion deficit in August.

Exports were up NZ$313 million or 9.0 percent on year to NZ$3.78 billion, missing forecasts for NZ$3.90 billion but up from NZ$3.69 billion in the previous month.

Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports climbed NZ$175 million in September to NZ$791 million, up 28 percent on year.

Milk fats including butter led the rise in dairy-related sales, up NZ$62 million (43 percent) to NZ$207 million, even though volumes fell.

Milk powder (up NZ$58 million), and milk and cream (up NZ$44 million), also contributed to the rise. The average unit price of butter was NZ$8,280 a ton in September compared with less than NZ$5,000 a ton a year earlier.

"The increases in both butter and milk powder were price-driven," international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. "Milk and cream were mainly volume-driven, especially to China, though prices were up, too."

Almost 80 percent of milk and cream were exported to China.

Exports of food preparations, including infant formula, were up by NZ$58 million (104 percent) in September. Over half of this commodity was exported to China.

Imports advanced an annual 1.4 percent or NZ$67 million to NZ$4.9 billion - roughly in line with expectations for NZ$4.88 billion after showing NZ$4.92 billion a month earlier.

Mechanical machinery and equipment jumped NZ$116 million (19 percent), while food residues, wastes, and fodder surged NZ$47 million (118 percent).

Automotive diesel climbed NZ$46 million, while vehicles, parts, and accessories rose NZ$41 million.

Aircraft and parts fell NZ$242 million and crude oil fell NZ$107 million.

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