Both exports and imports reached new highs in 2017, as New Zealand bought more cars and earned more from agricultural products, Stats NZ said today.
“The previous high for the value of goods exports in a calendar year was 2014,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. “The previous high for imports was 2015.”
Annual exports were valued at $53.7 billion for the year ended December 2017, up $5.2 billion (11 percent) from 2016. Dairy and meat products led the rise, up $2.8 billion to $14.0 billion and up $706 million to $6.6 billion, respectively.
Imports for the December 2017 year were up $4.9 billion, to $56.5 billion.
Vehicles parts and accessories help with rise in annual imports
Vehicles, parts, and accessories increased by $1.2 billion to $8.9 billion, an increase of 16 per cent compared to 2016.
Within this, motor cars rose $640 million, up 13 per cent compared to 2016, and truck and vans rose $347 million, up 23 per cent.
Mechanical machinery and equipment (such as aircraft parts and computers) rose $1.3 billion to $8.2 billion, which lead the overall rise in imports.
China was our top trading partner
Exports to China were valued at $12.0 billion, 22 per cent of New Zealand’s total exports, while imports from China were valued at $10.9 billion, 19 per cent of New Zealand’s total imports.
“China overtook Australia as our top export market in 2013 and has remained at the top every calendar year since,” Mr Islam said. “The gap between the top two markets is now wider than it’s been at any time since then.”
New Zealand’s total two-way goods trade
New Zealand’s total two-way goods trade (exports plus imports) for the year ended December 2017 was worth $110 billion, up $10 billion from 2016. Annual two-way goods trade has remained above $100 billion for the last four years.
For the year ended December 2017, there was an annual trade deficit of $2.8 billion,5.3 per cent of exports. This was smaller than the $3.1 billion deficit, 6.5 per cent of exports for the December 2016 year.