Exports Continue To Improve

  • John Luxton
Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control

The value of New Zealand's exports is up again and that bodes well for a return to strong, sustainable economic growth, Acting Trade Minister John Luxton said today.

Mr Luxton was commenting on this morning's provisional export statistics for October 1998 which suggest the value of exports is up 4.6% to NZ$22.286 billion on an annual basis.

"It is our exporters who will drive New Zealand's return to strong, sustainable economic growth," Mr Luxton said.

"And the continuing improvement in our export statistics suggests our exporters are indeed leading us out of difficult times.

"They deserve our commendation."

Mr Luxton said the statistics showed that the adjustment in the value of the dollar and New Zealand's cooperative labour market under the Employment Contracts Act were giving the exporters the flexibility to respond to changing global trading conditions.

Compared with the year to 31 October 1997, the value of New Zealand's exports in the year to 31 October 1998 was down to Japan (5.8%), Korea (26.2%), Malaysia (18.2%), the Philippines (12.8%), Canada (10.2%), Russia (14.7%) and Thailand (17.1%).

However, the statistics suggest this was more the compensated for by increases in the value of our exports to Australia (5.5%), the USA (27.5%), China (11%), Germany (22%), Belgium (54.2%), Italy (34.1%), Mexico (22.6%), Fiji (10.1%) and France (12.1%).

On a product basis, the statistics suggest that the value of our exports in the last year was up significantly for milk powder, butter and cheese (11.1%), mechanical machinery (18.2%), aluminium (14%), fruit and nuts (12.8%), casein and caseinates (23.5%), electrical machinery (11.4%) and wood pulp (15.4%).