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Foreign trade figures of New Zealand

Foreign Trade in Figures

Foreign trade is an essential element of New Zealand's economy, which is one of the most open economies in the world. Trade represented 49% of GDP in 2021 (World Bank, 2023). In 2022, the main export goods of the country were milk and dairy products (25.5% of all exports), meat (6%), wood (4.9%), fruits (3.7%), while the main imported commodities include Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous (9.6%), Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally (7.8%), Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular (2.5%), Motor vehicles for the transport of goods (2.5%) and Automatic data-processing machines and units (2.0%).

New Zealand's biggest partners are China (28.2% of all exports in 2022), Australia (12%), the United States (10.9%), Japan, and South Korea. China was also the main supplier of goods and services of the country (23.2% of all imports in 2022), with Australia (11.1%), the United States (9%) and Japan (6.2%).The country is a founding member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). A Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - the world’s largest trade agreement - was also signed in 2020 which includes 7 of New Zealand top 10 trading partners and 16 countries in total: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, and could eventually replace the CPTPP.  Additionally, the government is currently seeking trade deals with the EU and the UK.

Exports in New Zealand rose 13% year-on-year to a record high of 6.1 billion NZD in December 2021, boosted by sales of dairy products (Statistics New Zealand, 2022). In 2021, merchandise exports increased from 38.91 billion USD in 2020 to 44.75 billion USD, and imports increased from 37.15 billion USD in 2020 to 49.85 billion USD. The trade balance (including services) went from a positive territory in 2020 (+2.44 billion USD) to a deficit of 8.08 billion USD in 2021.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 43,79342,36337,15249,85554,219
Exports of Goods (million USD) 39,67339,51738,37744,77745,102
Imports of Services (million USD) 14,95815,56811,43013,67016,845
Exports of Services (million USD) 17,75517,41711,5799,82711,454

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 55.854.444.048.2n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) -3,523-2,4371,478-4,133-7,750
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -1631932,054-8,061-13,865
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.91.0-15.917.3n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.8-0.2-17.61.4n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 27.927.122.226.0n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 27.927.321.722.2n/a

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 7.49.27.44.35.1
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 1.50.14.63.04.2

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
New Zealand has signed a free trade agreement (CEPA) with Hong Kong.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
China 28.0%
Australia 12.1%
United States 10.8%
Japan 5.8%
South Korea 3.7%
See More Countries 39.6%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 23.1%
Australia 11.1%
United States 8.9%
South Korea 6.4%
Japan 6.3%
See More Countries 44.3%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

45.6 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Milk and cream, concentrated or containing added...Milk and cream, concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter 15.0%
Butter, incl. dehydrated butter and ghee, and...Butter, incl. dehydrated butter and ghee, and other fats and oils derived from milk; dairy spreads 6.2%
Meat of sheep or goats, fresh, chilled or frozenMeat of sheep or goats, fresh, chilled or frozen 6.0%
Meat of bovine animals, frozenMeat of bovine animals, frozen 5.9%
Wood in the rough, whether or not stripped of bark...Wood in the rough, whether or not stripped of bark or sapwood, or roughly squared (excl. rough-cut wood for walking sticks, umbrellas, tool shafts and the like; wood in the form of railway sleepers; wood cut into boards or beams, etc.) 4.9%
See More Products 62.0%
54.9 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 10.0%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 7.8%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl....Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 2.5%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 2.5%
Automatic data-processing machines and units...Automatic data-processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.0%
See More Products 75.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2023