Imports fall leads to annual trade surplus

Imports fell nearly $1 billion in August 2020, leading to the largest annual trade surplus since 2014, Stats NZ said today.

The $1.3 billion annual goods trade surplus for the August 2020 year reflected a rise in exports and a fall in imports over the past months.

“The recent falls in imports and growth in exports resulted in an annual trade surplus not seen since the strong 2013/14 dairy export season, when product prices were high,” senior insights analyst Nicholas Cox said.

Year ended$
Aug-10867931853
Sep-10974783425
Oct-101256319000
Nov-101360143147
Dec-101168809843
Jan-11909234172
Feb-11765239474
Mar-11740682583
Apr-111237956629
May-111018629244
Jun-11999300587
Jul-111288203502
Aug-111028184562
Sep-11694385470
Oct-11688282712
Nov-11287837556
Dec-11805957981
Jan-12636662666
Feb-12663398577
Mar-12266764072
Apr-12-554395300
May-12-849901594
Jun-12-762502439
Jul-12-767881507
Aug-12-888982678
Sep-12-891350808
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Nov-12-1389201097
Dec-12-1155072488
Jan-13-1288043737
Feb-13-1066319815
Mar-13-520650474
Apr-13-686505192
May-13-901370377
Jun-13-819339519
Jul-13-1704983254
Aug-13-2129039774
Sep-13-1559173572
Oct-13-1014147600
Nov-13-273792891
Dec-13-316678282
Jan-14261872324
Feb-14626656729
Mar-14798308321
Apr-141095053944
May-141319568932
Jun-141188788451
Jul-141034361246
Aug-141805429957
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Feb-15-2129195222
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Jan-16-3576399416
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Jan-17-3372963060
Feb-17-3782164840
Mar-17-3709425552
Apr-17-3512075703
May-17-3793134384
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Aug-17-3147802862
Sep-17-2925025327
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Jan-18-3286356541
Feb-18-3055823526
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Nov-18-5555558893
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Jan-19-6433087606
Feb-19-6714928289
Mar-19-5739137569
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Feb-20-3283119011
Mar-20-3382098833
Apr-20-2392724919
May-20-1273707991
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Month$
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Sep-17400172371
Oct-17477882195
Nov-17512901095
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

Exports rise in August

Higher exports of kiwifruit and aircraft helped boost the value of total goods exports by $349 million (8.6 percent) from August 2019 to reach $4.4 billion in August 2020.

Several of New Zealand’s main export commodity groups were up in value in August 2020 compared with August 2019.

Fruit rose $104 million (28 percent) to $470 million, led by gold kiwifruit (up $80 million or 48 percent). The rise was quantity-led, but the average unit value also rose, up 8.3 percent.

Exports of gold kiwifruit in the 2020 export season to date (March-August) were 29 percent higher in value and 18 percent higher in quantity than in the 2019 season. Exports of green kiwifruit were also up (by 7.1 percent in value and 3.2 percent in quantity).

“The increase in the value of kiwifruit exports in 2020 resulted from strong international demand, higher prices, and higher harvested volumes, particularly of gold kiwifruit,” Mr Cox said.

“The volumes exported are higher than in previous years, despite concerns earlier in the year of a potential shortage of labour during the harvest season in April and May.”

Dairy products were up $55 million (10 percent), and wine was up $30 million (18 percent).

The largest rise in total goods exports in August 2020 was for aircraft and parts, up $205 million.

“In August 2020, aircraft were sent to the United States for long-term storage as New Zealand’s border closure restricts international travel,” Mr Cox said.

Other contributors to the rise in exports in August 2020 were exports of live animals (up $77 million), mainly due to large shipments of cattle headed for China.

These rises were partly offset by falls in crude oil (down $39 million), fish (down $36 million), and mechanical machinery and equipment (down $22 million).

Monthly trade balance

The monthly trade balance in August 2020 was a deficit of $353 million. The average deficit in the previous five August months was $1.3 billion.

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