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New Zealand Trade Shortfall NZ$392 Million In March

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New Zealand had a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$392 million in March, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday

That’s up from the downwardly revised NZ$691 million deficit in February (originally a NZ$385 million shortfall).

Exports were up NZ$978 million or 17 percent on year to NZ$6.67 billion, up from the downwardly revised NZ$5.22 billion in the previous month (originally NZ$5.49 billion).

Milk powder, butter, and cheese (our largest export commodity group) was the largest contributor to the rise, up NZ$461 million (30 percent) to NZ$2.0 billion.

. Milk powder rose NZ$180 million (21 percent) to NZ$1.1 billion; the quantity exported fell 9.3 percent. The average unit value rose 33 percent.

. Butter rose NZ$111 million (72 percent) in value; the quantity exported rose 19 percent. The average unit value rose 44 percent.

. Cheese rose NZ$71 million (35 percent); the quantity exported rose 6.0 percent. The average unit value rose 27 percent.

. Milk and cream rose NZ$56 million (55 percent) in value; the quantity exported rose 16 percent. The average unit value rose 33 percent.

Meat and edible offal (our second-largest export commodity group) rose NZ$104 million (11 percent) to NZ$1.0 billion.

. Beef rose NZ$101 million (27 percent) to NZ$470 million; the quantity exported fell 8.0 percent. The average unit value rose 39 percent.

. Lamb was little changed (up 0.2 percent) at NZ$410 million; the quantity exported fell 29 percent. The average unit value rose 40 percent.

Other export commodities to rise included casein (up NZ$76 million), and aluminum (up NZ$68 million).

The monthly movements for March 2022 for our top export partners (ranked by total annual goods exports) were:

. China – up NZ$157 million (8.5 percent) to NZ$2.0 billion, led by rises in butter (up NZ$61 million) and milk powder (up NZ$57 million), partly offset by a fall in lamb (down NZ$106 million).

. Australia – up NZ$39 million (6.2 percent) to NZ$674 million, led by a rise in unwrought gold (up NZ$33 million).

. USA – up NZ$225 million (39 percent) to NZ$796 million, led by rises in lamb (up NZ$46 million), mechanical machinery and equipment (up NZ$35 million), and casein (up NZ$23 million); partly offset by a fall in crude oil (down NZ$39 million)

. EU – down NZ$12 million (3.2 percent) to NZ$368 million, led by a fall in gold kiwifruit (down NZ$41 million), partly offset by a rise in lamb (up NZ$32 million).

. Japan – up NZ$83 million (25 percent) to NZ$412 million, led by rises in cheese (up NZ$30 million), and aluminum (up NZ$24 million).

Imports jumped NZ$1.4 billion or an annual 25 percent to NZ$7.06 billion, accelerating from the upwardly revised NZ$5.91 billion a month earlier (originally NZ$5.88 billion).

Other chemical products led the rise, up NZ$243 million to NZ$297 million, over five times the value in March 2021. This commodity group includes diagnostic reagent test kits.

Pharmaceutical products rose NZ$194 million (135 percent) to NZ$338 million. This commodity group includes vaccines and other immunological products.

Mechanical machinery and equipment (our second-largest import commodity group) rose NZ$154 million (19 percent) to NZ$973 million. The leading rises in this commodity group were parts of turbo-jets and turbo-propellors, up NZ$62 million; and laptops and notebook computers, up NZ$36 million.

Petroleum and products rose NZ$150 million (32 percent) to NZ$624 million. Of the commodities in this group, automotive diesel rose NZ$141 million (150 percent) in value; the quantity imported rose 45 percent, and the unit value rose 72 percent; and crude oil rose NZ$125 million (166 percent) in value; the quantity imported rose 56 percent, and the unit value rose 70 percent.

Rises for all top import partners in March 2022
The monthly movements for March 2022 for our top import partners (ranked by total annual goods imports) were:

. China – up NZ$299 million (22 percent) to NZ$1.6 billion, led by rises in diagnostic reagents (including in the form of test kits), up NZ$154 million, pharmaceutical products (including immunological products), up NZ$97 million, and laptops and notebook computers (up NZ$40 million). These rises were partly offset by a fall in fertilisers (down NZ$28 million).

. EU – up NZ$102 million (12 percent) to NZ$962 million, led by rises in pharmaceutical products (including vaccines), up NZ$40 million, and vehicles, parts, and accessories (up NZ$26 million).

. Australia – up NZ$154 million (24 percent) to NZ$796 million, led by a rise across a range of commodities.

. USA – up NZ$157 million (31 percent) to NZ$658 million, led by a rise in mechanical machinery and equipment (up NZ$35 million).

. Japan – up NZ$85 million (21 percent) to NZ$489 million, led by a rise in automotive diesel (up NZ$63 million).

For the first quarter of 2022, exports rose 2.3 percent (NZ$381 million), following a 2.9 percent rise in the December 2021 quarter. Imports rose 4.5 percent (NZ$879 million), following a 5.9 percent rise in the December 2021 quarter. The quarterly trade balance was a deficit of NZ$3.3 billion.

New Zealand March Trade Deficit NZ$392 Million

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