New Zealand's trade deficit narrows

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 5, 2024
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WELLINGTON, June 5 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's trade balance was a deficit of 1.4 billion NZ dollars (870 million U.S. dollars) in the March 2024 quarter, narrowing from a deficit of 2.6 billion NZ dollars (1.61 billion U.S. dollars) in the March 2023 quarter, according to the statistics department Stats NZ on Wednesday.

The smaller trade deficit is being driven by a decrease in imports more than a large increase in exports, said Stats NZ international trade manager Alasdair Allen.

"Travel exports especially only had a modest increase and have not yet returned to historic levels for March quarters," Allen said, adding travel exports cover goods and services expenditure in New Zealand by overseas travelers.

March quarters since 2021 have been marked by lower travel exports than previously, he said, adding this makes an interesting contrast with exports of other main commodities, milk powder, butter, and cheese, which have remained consistent over this period.

In the March 2024 quarter, Australia was New Zealand's largest trading partner for travel services. However, travel exports to Australia fell 49 million NZ dollars (30.32 million U.S. dollars) to 778 million NZ dollars (481.48 million U.S. dollars) compared with the March 2023 quarter, statistics show.

The number of visitors from Australia in the March 2024 quarter was 11 percent lower than the March 2019 quarter, before the COVID-19 border restrictions, Allen said.

Australians' top travel destination is currently Indonesia, which has overtaken New Zealand for the first time, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

New Zealand's total goods imports value fell by 14 percent annually in the March 2024 quarter to 17.05 billion NZ dollars (10.55 billion U.S. dollars), which was driven by an 11.4 percent annual fall in volumes, while prices fell by 2.9 percent, according to Stats NZ.

Petroleum and petroleum products volumes fell by 20.2 percent annually, while transport equipment volumes dropped by 33.1 percent from March 2023 to March 2024, it said. Enditem

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