Dairy exports to China down in December

New Zealand’s biggest goods export, dairy products, fell $377 million (19 percent) in December 2020, compared with the same month in 2019, Stats NZ said today.

“Dairy export values and volumes both fell in December, compared with the same month a year before,” international trade manager Alasdair Allen said.

MonthQuantity (kilograms)
Jan-16198056153
Feb-16160431641
Mar-16123379010
Apr-16141435498
May-16132415856
Jun-16139363498
Jul-16131824666
Aug-1663848470
Sep-1697990365
Oct-16168167821
Nov-16200909456
Dec-16230441124
Jan-17179423183
Feb-17134569257
Mar-17134587511
Apr-17125422219
May-17141743079
Jun-17160722647
Jul-17145339994
Aug-1743141352
Sep-1783105438
Oct-17159560099
Nov-17179399108
Dec-17256893729
Jan-18194790343
Feb-18147201999
Mar-18148221759
Apr-18140164003
May-18113626795
Jun-18106966916
Jul-18152172529
Aug-1841219698
Sep-1867065705
Oct-18138298223
Nov-18208549468
Dec-18271706591
Jan-19219054349
Feb-19173465170
Mar-19188850801
Apr-19164925286
May-19140475941
Jun-19115624744
Jul-19132316156
Aug-1945428553
Sep-1987341618
Oct-19160039928
Nov-19226748462
Dec-19256765371
Jan-20186267309
Feb-20171953042
Mar-20166791062
Apr-20163956793
May-20140240501
Jun-20138299587
Jul-20127754767
Aug-2059347379
Sep-2090851158
Oct-20155404431
Nov-20264073094
Dec-20226193504
MonthValue per kilogram ($)
Jan-163.324438726
Feb-163.353058939
Mar-163.401581533
Apr-163.105704574
May-163.083981967
Jun-162.985322807
Jul-162.975770081
Aug-162.977389247
Sep-162.927559939
Oct-163.152039367
Nov-163.432117038
Dec-163.718009069
Jan-173.934884708
Feb-174.136907823
Mar-174.334270562
Apr-174.415982833
May-174.216060736
Jun-173.954110655
Jul-173.860753173
Aug-174.277600224
Sep-174.146678633
Oct-174.13776065
Nov-174.285357489
Dec-174.192004578
Jan-183.901198475
Feb-183.763209099
Mar-183.760783361
Apr-183.992364837
May-184.329437524
Jun-184.353260965
Jul-184.56157987
Aug-184.860723118
Sep-184.64218982
Oct-184.383001277
Nov-184.115189337
Dec-184.045482073
Jan-193.911731097
Feb-193.913848699
Mar-194.000900102
Apr-194.191107057
May-194.492229506
Jun-194.686021143
Jul-194.595917969
Aug-195.007901947
Sep-195.048293861
Oct-194.914131141
Nov-194.848365031
Dec-194.781744167
Jan-204.767201764
Feb-205.035136622
Mar-205.319742625
Apr-205.448479966
May-205.072970547
Jun-204.696586433
Jul-204.52545179
Aug-204.512429235
Sep-204.514550987
Oct-204.593320669
Nov-204.467854457
Dec-204.279011907

Typically, monthly dairy exports rise towards the end of the year, with a peak in December.

“For the first time since 2008, dairy exports fell between November and December,” Mr. Allen said.

“Dairy exports fell in the month despite a slight rise in milk production in the 2019/20 season, with dairy cow herd numbers relatively steady.”

Leading the total falls in December 2020 were milk powder, down $227 million, butter, down $62 million, and milk fats, down $51 million on the same month in 2019.

“The drop in dairy exports was mainly due to a fall in sales to New Zealand’s biggest export market, China,” Mr Allen said.

Total dairy exports to China fell $194 million (21 percent) to $740 million in December 2020. This was led by falls in milk powder, down $113 million.

“This is also the first time in six years that there has been a fall in dairy product exports to China in the December month,” Mr Allen said.

The large fall in dairy exports was a key factor in total exports falling $149 million in December 2020 compared with December 2019.

MonthsDairy exports
Jan-181357668463
Feb-181082810009
Mar-181183142138
Apr-181165012155
May-181121360159
Jun-181108068209
Jul-181512374297
Aug-18515548323
Sep-18720977408
Oct-181228756522
Nov-181469037726
Dec-181782861140
Jan-191486706813
Feb-191297188477
Mar-191386686826
Apr-191278366021
May-191272552413
Jun-191136179832
Jul-191252858587
Aug-19538699896
Sep-19872751972
Oct-191447483396
Nov-191802334470
Dec-191983218295
Jan-201596471335
Feb-201477400259
Mar-201492516196
Apr-201564530961
May-201330261761
Jun-201226149726
Jul-201115582318
Aug-20593878162
Sep-20775628665
Oct-201249331468
Nov-201796437419
Dec-201606506355

The drop in dairy exports was partly offset by a rise in exports of respiratory equipment, up $93 million in December.

Car imports recover

Total imports rose $213 million (4.2 percent) in December 2020 compared with December 2019, led by cars.

“Monthly car imports fell sharply early in 2020 when COVID-19 first hit, but values have bounced back to more typical levels,” Mr Allen said.

Car imports were up $106 million in December 2020 compared with December 2019.

Imports of electrical and machinery products were up $90 million, and iron and steel up $41 million in December.

Month$
Dec-17417190168
Jan-18383741422
Feb-18257348539
Mar-18493554067
Apr-18549616198
May-18545594072
Jun-18457875024
Jul-18454704027
Aug-18471651493
Sep-18454606369
Oct-18397044743
Nov-18333846929
Dec-18398563126
Jan-19436701216
Feb-19350105689
Mar-19399819840
Apr-19365000437
May-19405179272
Jun-19390064684
Jul-19442043031
Aug-19431928444
Sep-19476633153
Oct-19371046609
Nov-19433722741
Dec-19407416326
Jan-20329830434
Feb-20321147934
Mar-20428035278
Apr-20246731402
May-20160020929
Jun-20200248038
Jul-20208401573
Aug-20299138146
Sep-20447490466
Oct-20351541880
Nov-20387754570
Dec-20366402945

Monthly trade balance

The monthly trade balance in December 2020 was a surplus of $17 million. The previous five December months all saw deficits.

/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.