Petroleum and products imports rose $795 million to reach a new high of $1.2 billion, Stats NZ said.
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This rise lead the sharp increase in total imports for the month compared with June 2021.
Total imports were valued at $7.1 billion, while exports were valued at $6.4 billion, resulting in a deficit of $701 million in June 2022.
This is the largest June deficit on record.
The main categories of petroleum products are crude oil, diesel, and petrol. Crude oil imports have stopped since the Marsden Point refinery ceased refining operations as of April 2022.
Diesel imports rose $589 million in June 2022 to reach $658 million, while petrol imports rose $312 million to reach $335 million. These increases in values were mainly quantity driven, however unit prices are also at a high level.
“Since the recent closure of the Marsden Point refinery, more refined petrol and diesel are being imported,” international trade statistics manager Alasdair Allen said.
“The value-adding, which occurs offshore prior to arriving in New Zealand, contributes to the increases in the total import value.”
In the three months ended June 2022, the value of petroleum products imported was $2.2 billion, compared with $1.4 billion in the three months ended June 2021. The June 2022 quarter is the first full quarter without crude oil imports.
Leading import partners for petroleum products in the June 2022 quarter were Singapore, Republic of Korea, and Malaysia.
Petroleum products imports from Singapore in the June 2022 quarter represent 80 percent of total imports from that country, where Malaysia represent 43 percent.
“We are seeing a transformation in the way New Zealand sources its fuel, which will lead to a heavier reliance on oil refining nations,” Mr Allen said.
In the June 2022 year, the balance was a deficit of $10.5 billion, the largest since the series began in January 1960. In the June 2021 year, there was a deficit of $277 million. ■