File photo: CGTN
WELLINGTON, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Key commodity exports of butter, milk powder, logs, and meat all fell in July 2019, with butter alone down by half on a year ago, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Monday.
"Falls in dairy exports mainly reflected lower exports to China," said international trade statistics manager Darren Allan in a statement.
"However, more meat was exported to China instead of traditional markets such as the United States," Allan said.
Export values of butter halved from July 2018 levels, down 139 million NZ dollars (88.6 million US dollars) in July 2019. The quantity exported also halved, Stats NZ said.
Butter exports to China were much lower compared with a year ago, down 72 percent, it said.
"The fall in July butter export values concluded the export season, which were 21 percent lower than last year," Allan said, adding, "The lower season results were due to lower prices as well as less butter exported."
Milk powder values followed the slide in butter, falling 11 percent. Half the fall was to China, down 38 million NZ dollars, or 16 percent, he said.
Goods exports to China rose 33 million NZ dollars to 1.4 billion NZ dollars, with the rise in lamb and beef exports helping offset falls in other commodities, statistics showed.
Kiwifruit exports rose 76 million NZ dollars, with increases to China and to the EU. The rise of kiwifruit exports to China was led by gold kiwifruit, while the EU received more green kiwifruit, Allan said.
In July 2019, the total value of goods exports fell 5.8 percent from July 2018, to 5 billion NZ dollars, Stats NZ said.
Log exports fell 19 percent, with 80 percent of logs exported in the last year going to China, it said, adding values to China fell 15 percent as prices fell, after a period of relative stability. The quantity exported to China rose 5.9 percent.
Falling exports and rising imports widened the trade deficit to 685 million NZ dollars, from 203 million NZ dollars in July 2018, statistics showed.