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Susan Kilsby, agriculture economist at ANZ, notes that New Zealand economy posted an unadjusted monthly trade deficit of $1.24bn for September, which was slightly smaller than anticipated.

Key Quotes

“On an unadjusted basis, export returns were up 5.1% y/y in September while imports were down 2.1%.”

“Dairy export returns were strong, up 20.4% m/m on a seasonally adjusted (sa) basis, while volumes were up 13%. Meat export volumes were up 8.6% sa in September despite there not being a lot of stock available for processing. In value terms meat exports were up 21.5% sa from the previous month.”

“The importance of China as an export destination continues to grow. The value of goods exported to China has increased by 20.3% over the past year. We have also seen growth in exports to most other Asian countries.”

“September was a strong month for imports which is expected as importers stock up for Christmas demand. However this was tempered by a weak month for petrol imports which were back 26.6% on the previous month.”

“Looking forward, export volumes for October will be bolstered by the increase in dairy production – September milk production was up 0.7% on a milksolid basis with the products manufactured from this milk ready to be exported in October.   We are likely to see an uptick in petrol imports next month following lower imports in September.”