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New Zealand Economic and Financial Overview 2012

Composition of Merchandise Exports and Imports

The agricultural sector is highly efficient and has steadily increased the value-added component in agricultural exports. Meat and dairy products are the most important agricultural exports - together they accounted for around 36.4 % of total merchandise export values in the year ended 30 September 2011.

The manufacturing sector has been a major source of export growth and diversification over the past two decades. The Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia has contributed to a successful expansion by manufacturers into that market. A focus on design, reliability and cost has seen manufacturers make inroads into other markets, particularly Asia and the United States. Despite New Zealand's geographical position, it now exports a range of manufactured goods, including plastic goods, carpets and textiles, wines and high-tech computer equipment to countries throughout the world.

Tables 12 and 13 show the dollar amounts and percentage shares of New Zealand's major exports and imports.

Table 12 - Composition of Principal Merchandise Exports
  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2011
Year ended 30 September (dollar amounts in millions) % of Total
Dairy produce etc 6,410 9,127 8,747 9,389 11,479 24.5
Meat and edible meat offal 4,424 4,914 5,322 4,979 5,565 11.9
Wood and articles of wood 2,152 2,045 2,362 2,740 3,247 6.9
Mineral fuels 1,012 3,177 1,894 2,136 2,330 5.0
Fruit 1,221 1,456 1,607 1,465 1,548 3.3
Mechanical machinery 1,548 1,552 1,364 1,355 1,442 3.1
Fish, crustaceans and molluscs 1,106 1,145 1,287 1,257 1,342 2.9
Aluminium and articles thereof 1,541 1,445 976 1,136 1,257 2.7
Iron and steel 851 1,023 893 832 946 2.0
Electrical machinery 921 917 855 879 942 2.0
Precious stones, metals & jewellery 304 537 726 826 878 1.9
Wool and other animal fibres 625 613 550 570 757 1.6
Casein and caseinate 756 907 1,037 638 721 1.5
Wood pulp 677 662 612 667 686 1.5
Paper and paper product 499 533 544 547 587 1.3
Raw hides and skins 461 510 397 410 544 1.2
Plastics and articles thereof 430 432 413 433 463 1.0
Vegetables 429 418 415 412 458 1.0
All other items 7,738 8,942 9,627 9,321 9,787 20.9
Total New  Zealand  Produce 33,105 40,355 39,628 39,992 44,979 96.1
Re-exports 1,486 1,618 1,961 1,795 1,810 3.9
Total Merchandise Exports FOB 34,591 41,973 41,588 41,788 46,790 100.0

Source: Statistics New Zealand

Table 13 - Composition of Principal Merchandise Imports
Year ended 30 September 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2011
(dollar amounts in millions) % of Total
Mineral fuels 5,271 7,768 5,986 6,128 7,479 17.1
Mechanical machinery 4,997 5,756 5,277 4,751 5,344 12.2
Vehicles 4,640 4,968 3,174 3,756 4,024 9.2
Electrical machinery 3,592 3,743 4,078 3,400 3,812 8.7
Plastic and articles thereof 1,451 1,564 1,480 1,477 1,546 3.5
Aircraft 898 978 1,521 521 1,477 3.4
Optical, photographic, etc 1,107 1,197 1,375 1,243 1,332 3.0
Pharmaceutical products 982 1,060 1,146 1,097 1,090 2.5
Paper and paperboard 893 948 929 949 957 2.2
Apparel and clothing accessories: not knitted 725 769 802 756 836 1.9
Iron or steel articles 764 842 845 645 701 1.6
Knitted and crocheted fabrics and articles thereof 548 586 651 625 682 1.6
Rubber and articles thereof 436 483 498 509 552 1.3
Chemical products n.e.s. 433 456 493 493 489 1.1
Toys, games and sports requisites 397 423 459 403 442 1.0
Iron and steel 667 680 466 423 440 1.0
Printed books, newspapers, etc 409 412 403 396 383 0.9
Organic chemicals 306 365 361 325 370 0.8
Inorganic chemicals 189 243 251 210 198 0.5
Ships and boats 561 588 159 324 154 0.4
All other products 9,152 10,471 10,466 10,123 11,367 26.0
Total Merchandise Imports VFD 38,418 44,300 40,820 38,554 43,675 100.0
CIF Value 40,878 47,022 43,257 40,810 46,065

Source: Statistics New Zealand

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