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Dairy products lift exports

Thursday 29 April 2010, 1:35PM
By Statistics New Zealand
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Led by a rise in exports of dairy products, the value of New Zealand’s exported goods showed its first quarterly rise since the December 2008 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. After adjusting for seasonal effects, the value of total goods exported rose 10.4 percent in the March 2010 quarter, compared to the December 2009 quarter.

“As a result of higher prices, the value of exported milk powder, butter, and cheese increased 29 percent for the quarter,” business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. “This is the largest quarterly increase for the commodity group since the December 2007 quarter.”

Other notable changes in commodity exports include:

  • Meat and edible offal, up 8.4 percent
  • Logs, wood, and wood articles, up 16.2 percent
  • Crude oil, which is not seasonally adjusted, up 9.7 percent
  • Fish, crustaceans, and molluscs, down 3.2 percent.
  • Following four quarters of decline, the value of goods imported in the March 2010 quarter, compared with the December 2009 quarter, grew 6.8 percent. Notable changes in commodity imports include:
  • Intermediate goods (including petroleum products and raw materials), up 8.3 percent
  • Consumption goods (such as food and clothing), up 4.8 percent
  • Passenger motor cars, up 10.9 percent
  • Capital goods (such as plant and machinery, and transport equipment), down 2.1 percent.


In the month of March 2010, the value of New Zealand's exported goods rose $3 million (0.1 percent) to $4.1 billion, and the value of imported goods fell $126 million (3.5 percent) to $3.5 billion, compared with March 2009. The monthly trade balance was a surplus of $567 million or 14.0 percent of exports, the largest trade surplus for a March month since 2002, when the surplus was 16.7 percent of exports. For more information about the March 2010 month, see the Hot Off the Press.

Geoff Bascand 29 April 2010
Government Statistician