More log exports despite falling prices

New Zealand exported more logs and wood in June 2019, despite falling log prices overseas, Stats NZ said today.

In June 2019, the value of all goods exports rose $136 million (2.8 percent) from June 2018 to reach $5.0 billion.

Exports of logs and wood led the rise in exports, up $65 million (16 percent) from June 2018 to $472 million in June 2019. These commodities are the third-largest goods export group, behind milk powder, butter, and cheese ($1.1 billion) and meat and edible offal ($678 million).

The rise in logs and wood was led by untreated logs, up $55 million (20 percent) on a year earlier. The quantity rose 26 percent and unit values fell 4.6 percent.

“The average value of untreated log exports fell to $163 a cubic metre in June, down from a recent high of $177 in February,” international statistics manager Geraldine Duoba said.

New Zealand exports of untreated logs to China were worth about $3.0 billion in the past year, or 80 percent of the $3.8 billion in total untreated log exports.

Month Quantity
Jun-17 1696691
Jul-17 1565899
Aug-17 1688301
Sep-17 1561369
Oct-17 1868388
Nov-17 1878083
Dec-17 1605155
Jan-18 1054065
Feb-18 1621376
Mar-18 1963386
Apr-18 1696611
May-18 1888757
Jun-18 1573998
Jul-18 1984379
Aug-18 1852292
Sep-18 1781015
Oct-18 1976962
Nov-18 2011086
Dec-18 1631326
Jan-19 1288811
Feb-19 1843428
Mar-19 2160116
Apr-19 1839934
May-19 2009784
Jun-19 1985046
Month Value
Jun-17 153.59
Jul-17 155.24
Aug-17 153.49
Sep-17 161.7
Oct-17 161.68
Nov-17 173.21
Dec-17 172.31
Jan-18 170.99
Feb-18 164.52
Mar-18 162.85
Apr-18 159.93
May-18 165.34
Jun-18 171.22
Jul-18 172.28
Aug-18 161.53
Sep-18 165.41
Oct-18 169.42
Nov-18 170.45
Dec-18 165.35
Jan-19 174.45
Feb-19 176.6
Mar-19 175.82
Apr-19 166.62
May-19 170.89
Jun-19 163.3

Of New Zealand’s main export markets, China had the largest increase in exports, up $297 million (27 percent) from June 2018 to $1.4 billion in June 2019. The rise was led by beef, milk powder, and untreated logs.

“Strong growth in exports to China continues to offset a slowdown in the value of sales to other key markets such as Australia and the EU,” Geraldine Duoba said.

“China is New Zealand’s largest goods export market, making up 28 percent of all goods exports, and the fastest growing of our main export markets.”

Fuel leads fall in imports

Imports of fuel (down $328 million) led a fall in goods imports of $515 million (10 percent) to $4.6 billion in June 2019 compared with June 2018. This is the lowest level for imports since the $4.3 billion recorded in February 2018.

The fall in fuel value was quantity driven, down 69 percent from June 2018. Fuel quantities and values in June 2018 were the highest for any month on record. In 2018 there was a planned maintenance shutdown of the Marsden Point oil refinery from end of March to mid-June. As a result, fuel imports for that period were unusually high, especially in May and June 2018.

In contrast, crude oil was little changed in both values and quantities this month, compared with the same month last year.

Month Fuel Crude oil
Jan-18 344765 506969
Feb-18 183937 413257
Mar-18 363455 478491
Apr-18 282135 455730
May-18 371126 91659
Jun-18 465726 374374
Jul-18 280947 495525
Aug-18 210138 406292
Sep-18 297839 501206
Oct-18 150583 481751
Nov-18 253491 316552
Dec-18 192605 591975
Jan-19 344728 482586
Feb-19 275574 410101
Mar-19 233358 412267
Apr-19 347985 402169
May-19 296587 523641
Jun-19 146456 374880

Vehicles, parts, and accessories also added to the fall (down $130 million) driven by motor cars (down $67 million).

Month $
Jan-17 381142034
Feb-17 383677670
Mar-17 496439172
Apr-17 440038358
May-17 467735022
Jun-17 503048815
Jul-17 502158536
Aug-17 457068460
Sep-17 400589940
Oct-17 478550016
Nov-17 513200137
Dec-17 417920117
Jan-18 384378679
Feb-18 257576635
Mar-18 494104236
Apr-18 549884648
May-18 545772938
Jun-18 458147095
Jul-18 455458834
Aug-18 472660932
Sep-18 454845725
Oct-18 397875383
Nov-18 334549457
Dec-18 398839196
Jan-19 437069323
Feb-19 350235873
Mar-19 400051979
Apr-19 365677481
May-19 405402301
Jun-19 390669077

Trade surplus for June month

The monthly trade balance was a surplus of $365 million. This is the fourth surplus in a row.

/Stats NZ Public Release. View in full here.