WORLD / ASIA-PACIFIC
New Zealand’s strong export growth narrows current account deficit to $2.13 bln
Published: Sep 15, 2021 06:33 PM
Shoppers stand in line at a Christchurch supermarket on Wednesday. Sixty-three new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in New Zealand, bringing the total to 21,012. The country is vaccinating nationals faster amid epidemic with record 80,000 doses administered on Tuesday. Photo: VCG

Shoppers stand in line at a Christchurch supermarket on Wednesday. Sixty-three new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in New Zealand, bringing the total to 21,012. The country is vaccinating nationals faster amid epidemic with record 80,000 doses administered on Tuesday. Photo: VCG



 New Zealand's current account deficit narrowed to $2.13 billion in the June 2021 quarter, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said on Wednesday.

The current account deficit was $1.56 billion narrower than the previous quarter due to an increase in value of goods and services exports. These increases in exports narrowed the goods deficit and the services deficit by more than $710 million each, Stats NZ said.

Goods exports were worth $11.35 billion in the June 2021 quarter, a new high for the series, it said.

Goods exports grew $990 million mainly due to four key commodities: milk powder, butter, and cheese; logs, wood, and wood articles; meat and edible offal; and mechanical machinery and equipment, it said.

Of those commodities, dairy products, logs, wood and wood articles have shown consistent growth since the June 2020 quarter COVID-19 lockdown, according to the department's data.

"Construction materials have been in high demand over the last year, and the export price per unit of logs has steadily increased," international statistics senior manager Darren Allan said.

New Zealand's goods imports were worth $11.63 billion, an increase of $54 million. One of the biggest drivers of this increase was a rise in the value of crude oil, which almost doubled in value compared with the previous quarter, Allan said.

"Crude oil prices rose around the world as people in more and more countries started travelling again. So, while New Zealand might not be using twice as much crude oil, the increased price per liter is helping to drive the value of our imports up," he said.

The annual current account deficit was $7.95 billion in the year ending in June 2021, or 3.3 percent of gross domestic product, $4.61 billion wider than the year ending in June 2020, the statistics show.


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