The value of exports of meat and edible offal rose by 4.3 percent to $1.1 billion at the end of the December 2013 quarter, contributing to a rise of 2.2 percent to a total of $5.3 billion FOB over the 2013 year to end December, according to the latest overseas merchandise trade figures from the Department of Statistics.
This added to a further rise of 5.5 percent in value for exports of raw hides, skins and leather ($597 million).
Overall, milk powder exports, particularly to China, dominated the total goods exported for the year ended December 2013, says Statistics NZ. This led to many new record highs, such as export values for the month, quarter, and year for the grouping milk powder, butter and cheese.
“For 2013, the value of goods we exported rose by $2.0 billion – to reach $48.1 billion – and most of this increase was from milk powder,” industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. “Almost half of our milk powder exports went to China.”
Goods exported to China in the year ended December 2013 were valued at $10.0 billion, of which $4.0 billion was milk powder. This is the highest-ever value of milk powder exported to China for any year.
“China became our top annual export destination in 2013, a spot Australia had held since the year ended September 1989,” Louise Holmes-Oliver said. “For imports, China’s been our main partner since December 2011.”
Imports for the December 2013 year were up $1.1 billion, to $48.3 billion.
December 2013 quarter
For the December 2013 quarter, seasonally adjusted exports rose 10 percent (to $13.4 billion), and seasonally adjusted imports fell 2.8 percent (to $12.3 billion) from the September 2013 quarter.
The seasonally adjusted trade balance for the December 2013 quarter was a surplus of $1.1 billion (8.0 percent of exports) – the first surplus over $1.0 billion since the series began.