The value of New Zealand’s total goods exports fell 10 per cent to $4.2 billion in January compared with last year, led by falls in prices for dairy and meat, Stats NZ said today.
“The fall in exports of $486 million was the largest year-on-year fall in exports since March of 2016,” international trade manager Alasdair Allen said.
The drop in dairy exports to the US, and specifically whey exports, led the fall in exports, Allen said.
“This is the fifth consecutive month this season where monthly dairy exports were lower than the corresponding month a year ago,” he said.
“China was the only one of our top trading partners to see a rise in January.”
Meat, New Zealand’s second-largest export commodity group, also had a large drop, down $141 million or 18 per cent year on year in January 2021.
The price for New Zealand meat also dropped, with China and the US seeing some of the largest falls in meat exports and experiencing a fall in beef export prices.
“The $64 million fall in preparations of milk, cereals, flour, and starch (largely infant formula) was another notable contributor to the major fall in export commodities,” Allen said.
The monthly trade balance in January was a deficit of $626 million, the fifth straight January where there was a deficit.