French-New Zealand bilateral trade in 2015 [fr]

Bilateral trade grew strongly in 2015 to reach its highest level in 10 years at €1.1 billion (up from €894 million in 2014).

According to French customs figures, French exports grew 41% to €700m, largely due to aeronautical orders (up 110% to €377m), while imports from New Zealand remained stable (down 0.4% to €396m). The trade balance rose 210% to reach a €304m surplus.

Modest and volatile bilateral flows, with strong export growth

Trade flows, usually in the order of €800m, with similar values of imports and exports, rose significantly in 2015. The total of our bilateral exchanges reached its highest point in 10 years with more than €1.1m, on the back of strong French exports. According to French customs authorities, New Zealand is France’s 59th ranked customer (69th in 2014) and ranked 64th as a supplier (69th in 2014)1.

French exports to New Zealand represent 0.15% of total French exports (0.12% in 2014). Likewise, the record trade surplus of €304m (up 210%) in favour of France in 2015, ranks as France’s 28th-ranked bilateral surplus (55th in 2014).

French exports, highly dependent on aeronautical orders, are much more volatile than imports, comprising mainly agricultural materials. After halving between 2006 and 2009 to €201.2m, French exports rose, particularly in the last three years, to reach a record of more than €700m in 2015 (up 41% from 2014).

Taking into account the stability of imports at between €350m and €400m annually, France had a bilateral deficit from 2006 to 2010, reaching a low of €138.6m in 2009, but the rise of the New Zealand Dollar encouraged a return to surplus in 2011 of €48.8m, its growth then continued from 2013 with aeronautical contracts, which reached a high of €304m in 2015 .

Export performance driven by aeronautics and agricultural equipment

Transport equipment comprises the top sector of French exports to New Zealand at €410.2m, or 58.6% of the total exported (nearly twice the 2014 figure). With a total of €405m, this sector alone generates more than the bilateral trade surplus with very limited exports from New Zealand of €4.3m.

French sales comprised mainly aeronautical equipment, growing 111% to €377.6m, representing 54% of French exports.

The rest of the transport equipment came mainly from the automobile sector, down 23.7% €26m, and the maritime sector, which grew 14.8% to €6.3m. This trade performance remains volatile as it depends on the success of Airbus drawing contracts from the national airline.

Industrial and agricultural machinery, the number two sector for French exports, fell 21% to €57.7m. This consists mainly of sales of agricultural and forestry machinery (down 219% to €31.6m) and to a lesser extent on hoisting and handling equipment (down 27.4% to €6,3m), machines for the agriculture and food processing industry (up 60.8% to €2.4m), machines for extraction and construction (up 41% to €2m) and machines for the paper industry (down 50.2% to €17m). French suppliers in this sector benefit from the New Zealand economy’s strong agricultural specialisation but encounter competition from China, the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia.

Finally, four dynamic sectors complete the flow of French exports: food processing industry products (up 38.9% to €51.8m) driven by strong growth in dairy product exports (up 160% to €17m) ahead of wines (up 21.1% to €16m) ; chemical products, perfumes and cosmetics (up 4.2% to €43.3m) ; information technology, electronic and optic goods (up 34.9% to €25.4m) due to exports of computers and accessories (up 192.7% to €5.5m); and electrical appliances and equipment (down 3.2% to €18.9m).

New Zealand imports into France composed mainly of agricultural and food products.

The food products industry represents by itself 54.5% of New Zealand exports into France at €215.8m, a drop of 2.8%

Within this sector, meats rank first with 68.5% of the sector’s exports and 37.3% of total exports (up 10.6% to €147.9m), followed by fruit, stone fruit and pipfruit (up 16.1% to €42.4m), dairy products ( down 37% to €32.3m) whose drop in value is explained by a fall in global prices, and wine exports which were particularly dynamic (up 37.3% to €13m).

On the other hand, agricultural products, the number two sector for exports from New Zealand, saw a substantial drop (down 23% to €64 .7m) which can largely be attributed to the strength of the New Zealand dollar. The sector saw prepared and preserved fish exports fall 19.1% to €21.7m and grains, pulses and oilseeds fall 73.3% to €7.40m.

The other main export sectors are more modest but grew, they range from miscellaneous manufactured products (including medical and dental supplies and equipment (up 19.25% to €409m)) to metal and metallurgy products (including aluminium (up 89.8% to €30.5m)).

The medical sector (a €35m surplus for New Zealand), pharmaceutical sector (a €2.5m surplus for France) and viticultural sector (a €3.5m surplus for France) are the only sectors for which trade flows are relatively substantial in both directions.

Graphs (in French only)

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Niveau annuel du commerce bilatéral
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Évolution annuelle du commerce bilatéral
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Taux de change
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Ventilation sectorielle du commerce bilatéral
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Structure sectorielle comparée des exportations
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Structure sectorielle comparée des importations

1 According to New Zealand statistics, France was New Zealand’s 10th ranked supplier and 13th ranked customer in 2015 (compared to 10th and 25th in 2014).

The economic service aims to provide correct and up-to-date information and will correct, as much as possible, errors of which it is advised. Notwithstanding, it cannot be held liable for the use or interpretation of the information contained in this publication.

Source: La direction générale du Trésor (in French)

Dernière modification : 31/01/2017

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