Trade deficit edges lower as Australian exports, imports shrink

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand's trade deficit narrowed in September as imports and exports across the Tasman shrank, led by falling international dairy sales and declining foreign machinery purchases.

The trade deficit of $791 million in September was less than a revised $809 million a month earlier, Statistics New Zealand says. The shortfall was almost identical to the same month a year earlier, and smaller than the $825 million deficit forecast in a Reuters survey of economists.

The annual deficit of $888 million was in line with expectations.

Trade flows with Australia, New Zealand's biggest trading partner, shrank in September, with exports falling 8.3% to $824 million and imports down 13% to $586 million from the same month a year earlier.

Statistics NZ says New Zealand sold less unwrought gold, cheese and crude oil to Australia, and bought less cane sugar, aluminium oxide and fertilisers.

China, the country's second-biggest trading partner, picked up the slack, with monthly exports rising 23% to $468 million and imports edging up 1.1% to $718 million.

Exports to the US, New Zealand's third-biggest partner, picked up, rising 12% to $257 million in September, though imports declined 18% to $336 million.

Milk powder, butter and cheese exports fell 12% to $597 million in the month, and aluminium and aluminium articles sales sank 20% to $79 million. Dairy products account for about 27% of New Zealand's annual $46.77 billion in exports.

Imported mechanical machinery and equipment dropped 11% to $472 million in September, while vehicles, parts and accessories fell 8.4% to $406 million.


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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7287 0.0008 0.11%
AUD 0.9521 -0.0009 -0.09%
EUR 0.6508 0.0039 0.60%
GBP 0.5612 0.0001 0.02%
HKD 5.6498 0.0051 0.09%
JPY 73.1280 0.0550 0.08%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1337.3 -0.160 2016-09-26T00:
Oil Brent 47.9 1.450 2016-09-26T00:
Oil Nymex 45.9 1.400 2016-09-26T00:
Silver Index 19.6 -0.210 2016-09-26T00:

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NZX 50 7264.9 7265.2 7264.9 -0.16%
NASDAQ 5254.2 5293.4 5257.5 0.59%
DAX 10451.4 10455.9 10393.7 -0.61%
DJI 18099.2 18196.6 18094.8 0.46%
FTSE 6818.0 6865.4 6818.0 -0.15%
HKSE 23356.0 23646.0 23317.9 1.09%
NI225 16390.9 16683.9 16544.6 0.84%
ASX 5431.4 5431.4 5431.4 -0.47%