The volume of manufacturing sales rose 2 percent in the December quarter from the September quarter, led by a 4 percent boost in dairy and meat products manufacturing, but the value of those sales fell 0.5 percent, Statistics NZ says.
“The meat and dairy industry rebounded after a strong fall in the September quarter,” says manufacturing statistics manager Sue Chapman.
“Most meat and dairy products in New Zealand are exported and occasionally the timing of exports, price changes and exchange rates can affect manufacturing sales,” Chapman says.
The figures are adjusted to smooth seasonal variations.
The rise in the December quarter follows a 1.1 percent drop in volumes in the September quarter, with meat and dairy production dropping 5.9 percent, while the fall in value in the latest quarter follows a 1.8 percent increase in the September quarter.
Compared to the December quarter of 2017, volumes were up 0.2 percent but value was up 3.7 percent.
Chapman says sales volumes rose for nine of the 13 industries the data series measures with volumes of petroleum and coal products rising 4.1 percent, up from a 0.2 percent increase in the September quarter.
The largest decrease was in chemical, polymer and rubber product manufacturing which fell 3.2 percent after a 7.7 percent increase in the September quarter and an 8.2 percent drop in the June quarter.
Chapman says the low June quarter reflected unexpected outages at a processing plant that restricted methanol production.
The biggest value fall in the latest quarter was for chemical, polymer and rubber products, down 3.7 percent from the September quarter when the value of sales was up 10.3 percent.
The manufacturing sales figures are one of the last pieces of data feeding into the December quarter GDP numbers which are due for release on Thursday, March 21.