Imports fall leads to New Zealand’s largest annual trade surplus in six years

WELLINGTON (Xinhua) – Imports fell nearly NZD1 billion in August, leading to New Zealand’s largest annual trade surplus since 2014, the country’s Statistics Department Stats NZ said yesterday.

The NZD1.3 billion annual goods trade surplus reflected a rise in exports and a fall in imports over the past months, Stats NZ said.

“The recent falls in imports and growth in exports resulted in an annual trade surplus not seen since the strong 2013-2014 dairy export season, when product prices were high,” Senior Insights Analyst Nicholas Cox said in a statement. Imports of crude oil, cars, and other vehicles were much lower than usual in recent months after the COVID-19 pandemic,  Cox said.

New Zealand’s demand for fuel dropped due to the international and domestic travel restrictions, which were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

During the lockdown in April, imports of vehicles were particularly affected by international trade restrictions and the closure of vehicle dealerships as non-essential businesses, he said.