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First decrease in exports after year of growth

Mar 18th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

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EXPORTS-IMPORTS: More cars in, fewer exports out.

MERCHANDISE exports have decreased after a year of growth every quarter, according to a Statistics New Zealand report released last week.

Although exports increased 5.5% throughout the 2009 year, in the December quarter seasonally adjusted export volumes decreased for the first time since the September 2008 quarter, by 1.2%.

Statistics New Zealand prices manager Chris Pike says the global recession in 2009 had a strong influence on New Zealand’s export volumes.

“You could see that particularly in the June 2009 quarter, but they began to recover,” he says.

The decrease in the December quarter was mainly due to an 18.3% fall in the volume petroleum and petroleum products exported.

“A lot of the overall decrease in relation to export was also due to a decrease in dairy products,” Mr Pike says.

The volume of milk powder exported for the December quarter fell 13.3% while the volume of butter fell 15.8%.

A decline of fruit and vegetable volumes of almost 15% also contributed to the decrease in the December 2009 quarter.

However, although goods exported decreased, New Zealanders imported more, at prices 6% down on the previous quarter.

Import volumes rose by 1.9% from the March 2009 quarter to the December 2009 quarter.

This was mainly due to rising import volumes in capital goods, such as mobile phones and machinery and plant, by more than 4%.

Although passenger car volumes are still more than 20% lower than the peak in the December 2007 quarter, with an increase of 32.2%, cars imported were more double the low of the March 2009 quarter.

Other factors contributing to the increase in import volumes were a rise in motor spirit volumes by almost 40% and in household goods volumes.

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is a graduate from Whitireia Journalism School, now working for a rock magazine in London.
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