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Imports again outgrow exports

Imports news

July saw big increases for dairy and meat exports but their growth was overshadowed by yet another petroleum fuelled surge in imports, according to Statistics NZ’s monthly Overseas Merchandise Trade Statistics.

According to a recent report by Federated Farmers, goods imports of $7.8 billion in July 2022 continued their run of very strong growth, up 26.0% compared to July 2021. Petroleum and products had a 100% increase to $1.2 billion. Fertiliser had a 61% increase and other chemicals up 165%. Fuel import volumes can be very lumpy depending on timings of shipments but prices also play a large part. Although global oil prices have dropped recently they are still a lot higher than at the same time last year.

Goods exports were worth $6.7 billion in July 2022, up 15.6% compared to July 2021. Dairy led the way. Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports were up 39% to $2.0 billion; preparations of milk, cereals, flour, and starch up 40% to $229 million; and caseins and caseinates up 88% to $211 million. Exports of meat and edible offal were also up strongly by 24% to $935 million

The goods trade balance in July 2022 was a deficit of $1.1 billion, a worsening of the $387 million deficit for July 2021.

On an annual basis, for the year to July 2022, goods exports were $68.3 billion, up 11.6% on the previous year. For the key primary sector export commodities:

  • Milk powder, butter, and cheese: up 17.2% to $18.8 billion.
  • Meat and edible offal: up 19.0% to $9.7 billion.
  • Logs, wood, and wood articles: down 9.1% to $5.0 billion.
  • Fruit: up 3.3% to $4.0 billion.
  • Preparations of milk, cereals, flour, and starch: down 0.9% to $2.2 billion.
  • Wine: up 2.9% to $2.0 billion.
  • Casein and caseinates: up 47.8% to $1.6 billion.

In addition, live animal exports were up 4.7% to $515 million and wool exports were up 6.0% to $434 million. However, eggs, honey, and other animal products were down 9.0% to $474 million and vegetables down 5.9% to $446 million.

Annual growth in goods imports was huge, up 28.3% to $79.9 billion. There were particularly big increases for other chemical products (up 115%); fertilisers (up 93%); petroleum and products (up 58%); pharmaceutical products (up 56%); and iron and steel articles (up 54%).

The annual goods trade balance for the year to July 2022 was a huge deficit of $11.6 billion, a massive increase from a $1.1 billion deficit for the previous year.

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  1. Let us leave this to the able “hands” of Grand Robber, the finance minister, shall we? He knows the magic of creating dollars from thin air and pay for all the deficit. He mastered “Go After Yanks” (GAY) economics and also deserved a doctorate like Jabcinda.


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