WELLINGTON, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Imports to New Zealand were up slightly in June mainly due to the arrival of the naval vessel HMNZS Aotearoa, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Friday.
June imports included the naval vessel Aotearoa, which arrived in Auckland from Ulsan, South Korea, on June 26.
The value of total merchandise goods imports was little changed compared with June 2019, up 0.2 percent to 4.6 billion NZ dollars (3 billion U.S. dollars) this year.
A rise in imports of ships and boats was largely offset by continued falls in the imports of cars and other vehicles, as well as fuel, Stats NZ said.
"The arrival of the Navy's newest and biggest ship has buoyed import totals for June," international statistics manager Darren Allan said in a statement.
Excluding the large one-off import, the value of total goods imports in June 2020 was 4.2 billion NZ dollars, a fall of more than 8 percent from a year earlier, Allan said.
"Without the Aotearoa, imports fell for the third consecutive month, following the start of the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown in New Zealand at the end of March," he said.
The biggest fall in imports in June 2020 was vehicles and parts, followed by petroleum and products, statistics showed.
Of New Zealand's main trading partners, imports from the United States had the biggest fall in June 2020, led by mechanical machinery and equipment, such as turbo-jet and turbo-propeller parts, down 41 percent, according to Stats NZ.
"With ongoing travel restrictions and international arrivals at a 61-year low, there's less need for imports of aircraft parts," Allan said.
Goods imports from China were up 10 percent in June 2020 when compared with June 2019, led by electrical machinery and equipment, such as mobile phones, Stats NZ said.
Higher milk powder exports and a recovery in log exports helped boost total exports in June 2020, it said.
COVID-19 continues to impact on exports of breathing equipment, with increased ongoing need for respiration apparatus during the global pandemic. Exports of New Zealand respiration equipment rose 123 percent when compared with June 2019, Allan said.
The monthly trade balance for June 2020 was a surplus of 426 million NZ dollars. Excluding the new vessel Aotearoa, the trade balance surplus was 821 million NZ dollars, he said. (1 U.S. dollar equals 1.51 New Zealand dollars) Enditem