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Record imports in November - Stats NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Imports in November 2017 were valued at $5.8 billion, Stats NZ said today. The value exceeded last month’s record of $5.4 billion.

Imports rose $1.2 billion (27 percent) from November 2016. This was the largest rise in imports since a 62 percent rise in December 1999. The November 2017 rise was across a range of commodities. The largest increases included imports of aircraft, aircraft parts, motor vehicles, computers, and diggers.

The value of car imports reached a new high of $513 million. There were 26,700 passenger motor cars imported in November, at a higher average value than earlier in the year. Of those, 140 were new electric cars and around 170 were used electric cars.

"The $1.2 billion rise in total November 2017 imports was equivalent to 83,000 used electric cars," international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. "Alternatively, for that value we could have imported around 700,000 top-of-the-line mobile phones."

Exports rise 20 percent

Exports rose $757 million (20 percent) to $4.6 billion, a new high for a November month. This was also the largest percentage rise in export values since January 2014, which also featured high dairy prices.

Milk powder, butter, and cheese led the rise in exports this month, with butter prices up 82 percent. In November, China bought the most butter from New Zealand ($52 million worth) followed by Iran ($28 million worth).

Logs and meat values both rose around 50 percent from November 2016.

The November 2017 monthly trade deficit was $1.2 billion (26 percent of exports), compared with an average of $447 million (11 percent of exports) for the previous five November months. This month’s deficit is similar to the deficits in August and September this year, when export volumes are much lower due to seasonality.

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