New Zealand Trade Gap Narrows in December
New Zealand trade deficit declined 1.3 percent year-on-year to NZD 41 million in December of 2016. For the year ended December 2016, the annual trade deficit was NZD 3.2 billion, lower than a NZD 3.5 billion gap a year earlier.
Exports declined 0.9 percent year-on-year to NZD 4.4 billion. Meat and edible offal led the fall, down 16 percent, while milk powder, butter, and cheese rose 8 percent. For the year ended December 2016, sales went down 1.1 percent to NZD 48 billion, the second anual fall, led by milk powder, butter, and cheese (-2.9 percent) and meat and edible offal (-13 percent). In contrast, exports rose for logs, wood, and wood articles (17 percent) and fruits (19 percent). Shipments decreased to Australia (-0.9 percent), the US (-8 percent), the EU (-4 percent) and South Korea (-4.6 percent) but increased to China (9.1 percent) and Japan (0.8 percent).
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Imports declined 0.9 percent to NZD 4.4 billion, as intermediate goods fell 2.5 percent and oil and gas were down 39 percent. Meanwhile, capital goods and consumption goods slightly rose 0.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. For the year ended December 2016, purchases declined 1.7 percent to NZD 52.5 billion. Imports increased from Australia (4.3 percent), Japan (6.6 percent) and China (0.4 percent) but declined from the US (-5.7 percent) and the EU (-0.3 percent).