Crude oil import volumes more than double

Crude oil import volumes more than doubled in the December 2020 quarter, bouncing back from recent lows, Stats NZ said today.

Import volumes for primary fuels and lubricants, which primarily covers crude oil, rose 129.4 percent on the previous quarter. The rise follows two consecutive quarters of falling import volumes in June and September 2020.

“This is the largest quarterly percentage increase in crude oil import volumes since the series began in September 1982,” business prices delivery manager Bryan Downes said.

“However, import volumes for crude oil remain leaner than they were a year ago.”

Annually, import volumes for primary fuels and lubricants were down 3.2 percent on the previous December quarter.

“In the September 2020 quarter, New Zealand imported more petrol and diesel while local refining was temporarily suspended,” Mr Downes said.

“Now that refining has resumed, crude oil imports are back up and petrol and diesel imports are down.”

Crude oil import volumes had dropped to zero in the month of July before picking up again.

Quarter endedPrimary fuels and lubricantsProcessed fuels and lubricants (not motor spirit)Motor spirit
Dec-151347706977
Mar-16152211651177
Jun-16126117691018
Sep-16129411271194
Dec-1613371435983
Mar-17122315311179
Jun-17145716841270
Sep-17141514131082
Dec-1713861211965
Mar-18147317921283
Jun-1898128471608
Sep-18165617471117
Dec-1815001244913
Mar-19143518221152
Jun-19143416421097
Sep-19144915201100
Dec-19137817481103
Mar-20149718351087
Jun-2059514491118
Sep-2058124841372
Dec-20133412971138

Import and export prices down, terms of trade up

Falling crude oil prices contributed to a 1.7 percent drop in import prices in the December 2020 quarter. Prices for petroleum and petroleum products fell 5.8 percent quarterly, including a 10.5 percent fall for primary fuels and lubricants. However, import price falls were partly offset by a 1.5 percent price increase for transport equipment, driven by a 2.9 percent increase for passenger motor cars.

Export prices also fell, down 0.4 percent on the quarter. Prices for dairy products dropped 2.6 percent, while prices rose 2.7 percent for forestry products and 8.9 percent for fish and fish preparations, reflecting overseas demand for logs and lobsters.

Terms of trade rose 1.3 percent on the back of falling import prices, following a large drop in the September 2020 quarter .

“Falling import and export prices can be partly attributed to the strengthening of the New Zealand dollar,” Mr Downes said.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s trade-weighted index (TWI) rose 1.2 percent in the December 2020 quarter. In the same period, the New Zealand dollar rose 3.6 percent against the US dollar. The trade weighted index (TWI) is a measure of the value of the New Zealand dollar (NZD) relative to the currencies of New Zealand’s major trading partners.­­

Quarter endedNZD-USD exchange rate (mid-rate for NZ$1.00)
Dec-150.6658
Mar-160.6629
Jun-160.691
Sep-160.722
Dec-160.712
Mar-170.7118
Jun-170.7046
Sep-170.7302
Dec-170.6968
Mar-180.7275
Jun-180.7051
Sep-180.6685
Dec-180.6708
Mar-190.6814
Jun-190.663
Sep-190.6487
Dec-190.644
Mar-200.635
Jun-200.6175
Sep-200.6618
Dec-200.6857
Quarter endedTrade-weighted index
Dec-1572.14
Mar-1672.16
Jun-1673.63
Sep-1676.97
Dec-1677.64
Mar-1777.96
Jun-1776.48
Sep-1777.11
Dec-1773.77
Mar-1874.9
Jun-1873.8
Sep-1872.36
Dec-1873.5
Mar-1973.99
Jun-1972.67
Sep-1971.95
Dec-1971.37
Mar-2070.94
Jun-2069.68
Sep-2072.02
Dec-2072.92

/Stats NZ Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.