Dairy export volumes advance to new record

Dairy export volumes hit a new high after rising 19 percent in the March 2019 quarter, adjusted for seasonal effects, Stats NZ said today.

While dairy volumes were strong in the quarter, actual dairy prices fell 7.5 percent. That means dairy values rose only 9.5 percent, seasonally adjusted.

Dairy products are New Zealand’s top goods export, accounting for more than a quarter of the value of all goods exported in the March quarter.

Total export volumes rose 5.0 percent in the March 2019 quarter, while total export prices fell 2.6 percent, both movements strongly influenced by dairy.

“Total export volumes are at their highest level since the series began in 1990, reflecting higher dairy volumes in the March quarter, after adjusting for seasonal effects,” business prices delivery manager Sarah Johnson said.

“The previous peak in dairy export volumes was in the September 2012 quarter.”

Quarter Dairy volumes Dairy prices
Mar-06 1101 966
Jun-06 1312 1021
Sep-06 1340 982
Dec-06 1260 920
Mar-07 1348 947
Jun-07 1310 980
Sep-07 1122 1145
Dec-07 1454 1292
Mar-08 1225 1546
Jun-08 1019 1543
Sep-08 1026 1658
Dec-08 1105 1749
Mar-09 1209 1401
Jun-09 1500 1063
Sep-09 1564 943
Dec-09 1457 993
Mar-10 1422 1311
Jun-10 1469 1390
Sep-10 1416 1489
Dec-10 1489 1358
Mar-11 1565 1433
Jun-11 1632 1498
Sep-11 1604 1427
Dec-11 1612 1411
Mar-12 1669 1331
Jun-12 1757 1296
Sep-12 2249 1127
Dec-12 1805 1096
Mar-13 1889 1171
Jun-13 1691 1329
Sep-13 1637 1648
Dec-13 1930 1630
Mar-14 1946 1668
Jun-14 1927 1596
Sep-14 1884 1413
Dec-14 1913 1203
Mar-15 2030 1127
Jun-15 1853 1194
Sep-15 1989 1193
Dec-15 2035 1041
Mar-16 1971 1094
Jun-16 2059 1017
Sep-16 2123 984
Dec-16 2034 1120
Mar-17 1849 1323
Jun-17 2095 1375
Sep-17 1966 1364
Dec-17 1940 1457
Mar-18 1925 1359
Jun-18 2021 1402
Sep-18 1956 1489
Dec-18 1962 1404
Mar-19 2334 1299

“Dairy export prices have fallen for the second quarter in a row, likely reflecting the falling global dairy auction prices seen between June and November 2018. There is a lag between auction prices and the time dairy products cross the wharf for export,” Mrs Johnson said.

Fuel import prices fall

Fuel import prices fell 20 percent in the March 2019 quarter, reflecting much lower prices for petroleum and related products.

Crude oil prices were down 21 percent, while petrol prices were down 26 percent. Diesel prices were also down 15 percent this quarter.

Lower fuel prices were a key driver in the drop in overall import prices, down 3.5 percent in the March 2019 quarter.

Quarter Crude oil volumes Crude oil prices
Mar-06 1088 1692
Jun-06 840 1949
Sep-06 1022 2007
Dec-06 899 1615
Mar-07 846 1620
Jun-07 1002 1627
Sep-07 974 1818
Dec-07 872 2017
Mar-08 1077 2172
Jun-08 860 2560
Sep-08 1024 3086
Dec-08 1185 2181
Mar-09 855 1391
Jun-09 960 1400
Sep-09 1097 1734
Dec-09 1227 1657
Mar-10 1280 1811
Jun-10 1294 1870
Sep-10 1171 1745
Dec-10 1195 1826
Mar-11 1306 2220
Jun-11 1415 2284
Sep-11 1428 2266
Dec-11 1246 2326
Mar-12 1565 2350
Jun-12 1043 2553
Sep-12 1441 2195
Dec-12 1414 2274
Mar-13 1328 2254
Jun-13 1321 2160
Sep-13 1469 2229
Dec-13 1263 2278
Mar-14 1128 2173
Jun-14 1415 2067
Sep-14 1288 2148
Dec-14 1365 1847
Mar-15 1323 1318
Jun-15 1240 1363
Sep-15 1380 1491
Dec-15 1317 1079
Mar-16 1486 781
Jun-16 1240 1047
Sep-16 1273 1167
Dec-16 1319 1151
Mar-17 1199 1307
Jun-17 1421 1257
Sep-17 1387 1152
Dec-17 1351 1408
Mar-18 1446 1549
Jun-18 953 1760
Sep-18 1619 1785
Dec-18 1449 1964
Mar-19 1370 1556

Total imports volumes rose 1.2 percent, led by diesel volumes (up 46 percent) and petrol (up 26 percent), while crude oil volumes fell 5.4 percent.

“Crude oil import volumes have been steady over the last five years, whereas the value of crude oil imports has been highly influenced by the price,” Mrs Johnson said.

Terms of trade up 1.0 percent

The merchandise terms of trade rose 1.0 percent, as imports prices fell more than export prices. The terms of trade is a measure of the purchasing power of New Zealand’s exports abroad. An increase means New Zealand can buy more imports for the same amount of exports.

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/Stats NZ Public Release. View in full here.