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Lowest imports since 2013

The number of used passenger vehicles to cross New Zealand's border fell by 35 per cent - or 4,715 units - compared to January. 
Posted on 05 March, 2019
Lowest imports since 2013

The number of used passenger vehicles entering New Zealand last month fell by 35 per cent last month compared to January 2019. 

Some 8,764 used cars crossed the border in February - a decrease of 4,715 units compared to January's total of 13,479 units. Disregarding February 2018's 7,686 as an outlier due to the impact stink bugs had on vehicle imports, last month's result was the lowest February on record since 2013. 

This time last year, stink bugs were discovered on four car carriers, which resulted in vessels being unable to enter New Zealand as scheduled, impacting the number of vehicle imports and disrupting the import supply chain

Last month’s result brought the year-to-date total to 22,243, an increase of 4,078 units – or 22.45 per cent – compared to the same period in 2018. 

The number of units coming in from Australia increased by a whopping 71.9 per cent to 619 units compared to February 2018, while there was an 11.8 per cent increase from Japan to 7,841 units. Third spot went to Singapore with 175 units – up by 57.7 per cent.

Used commercials fall

There was a drop in used light commercials crossing the border in February. The total fell by 34.8 per cent to 223 units when compared to February 2018. That was a difference of 338 units.

Most of those imports – 242 – came from Japan. There were 7 from Australia and 6 from the UK. Last month’s total was also down by a whopping 60.2 per cent compared to January.

New passenger vehicles down

The number of new cars imported during January was 7,875. When compared to February 2018’s total of 7,281 that was a decrease of 594 units – or 7.5 per cent. Last month’s total was a 5.5 per cent drop on January’s.

Japan topped the ladder with 2,345 units. It was followed by South Korea on 993 and Czech Republic on 921.

Increase in new light commercials

There was also a decrease in new light commercials crossing the border last month. The total was 2,755, which was up by 9.4 per cent – or 236 units – compared to February 2018.

Thailand accounted for most of them with 1,820. Some 499 units were imported from Japan and 272 from China. February’s overall total represented a 14 per cent drop compared to January’s.