The seasonally adjusted value of exported goods fell 3.3 percent in the December 2012 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows a rise of 4.4 percent in the September 2012 quarter.
"Seasonally adjusted dairy exports led the fall in exports in the December 2012 quarter," industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports fell 12 percent, with quantities down 15 percent.”
The seasonally adjusted value of imported goods decreased 1.5 percent for the second consecutive quarter.
The seasonally adjusted trade balance for the December 2012 quarter was a deficit of $87 million, equivalent to 0.8 percent of exports. This follows a $128 million deficit for the September 2012 quarter.
For the December 2012 month, export values decreased $217 million (5.1 percent) compared with December 2011, and imports decreased $403 million (10 percent).
The trade balance for the December 2012 month was a surplus of $486 million (12 percent of exports). This is the largest trade surplus recorded for a December month as a percentage of exports since December 1991.
For the year ended December 2012, merchandise exports were down $1.7 billion to $46 billion. Exports to Australia fell $1.0 billion and were almost offset by a rise in exports to China of $975 million. Imports for the December 2012 year rose $339 million to $47 billion.
See also: Overseas Merchandise Trade: December 2012 – Information release