New Zealand annual imports continue to fall

WELLINGTON (XINHUA) – Imports, especially fuel and cars, fell sharply in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic while exports held up, leading to a NZD1.7 billion annual goods trade surplus in the financial year ending September 2020, New Zealand’s statistics agency Stats NZ said yesterday.

Imports fell by NZD5.9 billion in the year, it said in a statement. A similar large fall in trade occurred during the global financial crisis more than a decade ago, when both imports and exports dropped. This year, exports held up well despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The value of dairy product exports in September 2020 fell from the same month of the previous year, according to it. The fall was price-led, as the overall quantity of dairy products exported rose over the same period, said the agency.

“New Zealand exported a greater volume of dairy products in September 2020 than in the same month last year, but received less in return,” senior insights analyst Nicholas Cox said in the Stats NZ statement.