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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 represents around 54% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The country mainly exports agricultural products. In 2022, exports were led by milk (15%), butter (6.2%), sheep meat (6%), bovine meat (5.9%), and wood (4.9%); whereas imports included petroleum oils (10%), motor cars (7.8%), vehicles for the transport of goods (2.5%), and telephones (2.5% - data Comtrade).

New Zealand's major export partners in 2022 were China (28%), Australia (12.1%), the United States (10.8%), Japan (5.8%), South Korea (3.7%), and Indonesia (2.9%). On the other hand, imports came chiefly from China (23.1%), Australia (11.1%), the United States (8.9%), South Korea (6.4%), and Japan (6.3% - data Comtrade). 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. Moreover, New Zealand signed a free trade agreement with the UK on 28 February 2022 and the European Union concluded negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement with New Zealand on 30 June 2022, which was signed on 9 July 2023.

According to WTO data, in 2022, New Zealand’s goods exports totalled USD 45.1 billion against USD 54.2 billion in imports (+0.7% and +8.7% y-o-y). As per services, the figures stood at USD 11.4 billion and USD 16.8 billion, respectively. The country’s trade deficit was estimated at 5.3% of GDP in the same year by the World Bank. According to Stats NZ, New Zealand's annual goods exports were valued at USD 41.9 billion in the year ending December 2023, reflecting a 4.5% decrease from the preceding year, according to the statistics department Stats NZ on Monday. Over the same period, imports were valued at USD 50.21 billion, down 5%, resulting in an annual trade deficit of USD 8.3 billion in the year ending December 2023, compared with a deficit of USD 8.91 billion in the year ending December 2022, the largest annual deficit since the record began.

 
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: May 2024

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