New Zealand kiwi exports increase 37%

New Zealand posted a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$1.235 billion in August, Statistics New Zealand said on Tuesday. That missed forecasts for a shortfall of NZ$825 million following the NZ$98 million surplus in July.

Exports were up NZ$306 million or 9.0 percent on year to NZ$3.69 percent - missing forecasts for NZ$4.05 billion and down from NZ$4.63 billion in the previous month.

Fruit had the largest rise of any export commodity group in August, up NZ$70 million (29 percent) to NZ$311 million. Kiwifruit led the rise in fruit, up NZ$73 million (37 percent) to NZ$268 million. Gold kiwifruit rose NZ$45 million (55 percent) in value, and 26 percent in quantity. Green kiwifruit rose NZ$28 million (25 percent) in value, and 17 percent in quantity.

The monthly movements for New Zealand's top export destinations included: Australia - up 152 million (22 percent) to NZ$860 million, with increases across a range of commodities; China - up NZ$85 million (13 percent) to NZ$724 million, led by kiwifruit, up NZ$58 million; and European Union - up NZ$33 million (8.8 percent) to NZ$413 million, led by kiwifruit, up NZ$15 million.

Imports advanced an annual 6.5 percent or NZ$301 million to NZ$4.92 billion versus forecasts for NZ$4.80 billion after showing NZ$4.53 billion a month earlier.

Annual goods exports were valued at NZ$50.8 billion, an increase from NZ$50.5 billion in July, while annual goods imports were valued at NZ$54.0 billion, an increase from NZ$53.7 billion in July and the annual trade deficit was NZ$3.2 billion in August, little changed from the previous month.

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