New Zealand trade deficit came in at NZD -340m in January, better than expectation of NZD -530m. Goods exports rose 8.8% yoy to NZD 4.7B. Goods imports dropped -4.0% yoy to NZD 5.1B. In particular, exports to China jumped 31% yoy to NZD 3.1B.

“China is New Zealand’s top trading partner and exports have grown strongly over the past three years, continuing into the first month of 2020,” international statistics manager Darren Allan said. “China is an especially important market for our top three exports, accounting for more than a quarter of dairy, about half of all meat, and almost two-thirds of wood exports in January. We will see any initial economic impact of coronavirus in February trade figures. This may reflect a change in demand because of the extended Chinese New Year holiday and quarantine imposed in some areas in China.”

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