Vehicles contribute to large import month
July 2021 saw large increases in both vehicle and petroleum imports, resulting in a significant increase in the total value of imports, Stats NZ says.
Total merchandise goods imports for July 2021 rose $1.6 billion (35 per cent) compared with July 2020, to reach $6.2 billion.
The largest contributor to this rise was vehicles, parts, and accessories, up $555 million to $919 million.
This large increase in vehicle imports is partly due to July 2020 having the lowest value of imports of vehicles for any July month in the past decade.
In July 2021 the top trading partner for vehicles was Japan at $276 million, a rise of $151 million compared with July 2020. Second to Japan was the EU at $206 million, a rise of $129 million.
Driving the large value of imported vehicles, parts, and accessories this month were motor vehicles, valued at $525 million. Imports of motor cars have risen $317 million compared with July 2020. Another large contributor was vehicles for transport of goods, up $166 million, says Stats NZ.
There were also large rises in petroleum and products, up $399 million to $570 million.
In part this was due to July 2020 seeing the lowest value of imports of petroleum and products ($166 million) since November 2003.
The low in July 2020 was due to almost no crude oil being imported. Crude oil makes up almost half of the petroleum and products imports for July 2021.
Combined, the rise in imports of vehicles and petroleum totalled $953 million, making up 60 percent of the total rise in imports for July 2021, says Stats NZ.
This has resulted in the largest value of total monthly imports on record, surpassing the previous high in October 2018.
Exports of fish, crustaceans, and molluscs
Exports of fish, crustaceans, and molluscs were up $35 million (29 per cent) in July to reach $155 million. The largest contributor to this rise was frozen fish, up $18 million to $36 million.
Second to frozen fish were crustaceans, up $11 million (61 per cent) to $28 million – almost all of this figure was from exports of live rock lobsters and other sea crawfish, valued at $26 million.
Total exports of fish, crustaceans, and molluscs have risen nearly 40 per cent in the past 15 years, with our top trading partner being China.
New Zealand now exports nearly seven times the value exported 15 years ago to China, with the value exported in the year ended July 2021 at $654 million.
“Fish, crustaceans, and molluscs are a significant part of Māori exports, contributing more than 40 percent to all exports from Māori authorities in the 2020 year. Almost 20 percent of exported fish, crustaceans, and molluscs in the 2020 year were from Māori authorities,” international trade manager Alasdair Allen says.
The quantity of fish, crustaceans, and molluscs exported rose 43 percent compared with July 2020.
The monthly trade balance for July 2021 was a deficit of $402 million. The annual trade balance for the year ended July 2021 was a deficit of $1.1 billion.