That figure represents roughly 0.2% of overall global exports estimated at $17.503 trillion one year earlier during 2020.
The top 5 countries in terms of buying exported goods from New Zealand are mainland China, Australia, United States of America, Japan and South Korea. That cohort of major trade partners consumed almost two-thirds (63.6%) of New Zealand’s world exports for 2021.
From a continental perspective, 61.4% of New Zealand’s exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 13.2% were sold to importers in Oceania led by Australia. New Zealand shipped another 12.4% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Europe (9.4%), Africa (2.3%) then Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.3%).
New Zealand’s Top Trade Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of New Zealand’s top trade partners, countries that imported the most shipments by dollar value from New Zealand during 2021. Also shown is each trade partner’s percentage of total New Zealand exports.
- China: US$14.1 billion (32.6% of New Zealand’s total exports)
- Australia: $5 billion (11.4%)
- United States: $4.6 billion (10.5%)
- Japan: $2.5 billion (5.9%)
- South Korea: $1.4 billion (3.2%)
- Taiwan: $951.3 million (2.2%)
- United Kingdom: $950.3 million (2.2%)
- Indonesia: $895.5 million (2.1%)
- Singapore: $864.6 million (2%)
- Hong Kong: $810.1 million (1.9%)
- Thailand: $756 million (1.7%)
- Malaysia: $709.8 million (1.6%)
- Vietnam: $589.2 million (1.4%)
- Germany: $549.4 million (1.3%)
- United Arab Emirates: $545.7 million (1.3%)
- Netherlands: $544.5 million (1.3%)
- Canada: $492.1 million (1.1%)
- Philippines: $472.4 million (1.1%)
- Saudi Arabia: $445 million (1%)
- India: $317.2 million (0.7%)
- Bangladesh: $299.6 million (0.7%)
- Mexico: $292.5 million (0.7%)
- France: $292.4 million (0.7%)
- Sri Lanka: $253.6 million (0.6%)
- Egypt: $220.6 million (0.5%)
Almost nine-tenths (89.6%) of New Zealand’s exports in 2021 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
From 2020 to 2021, the leading gainers for buying exported goods from New Zealand were Egypt (up 43.9%), Mexico (up 40.8%), mainland China (up 30.7%), Singapore (up 28.8%), Indonesia (up 28.6%), South Korea (up 26.7%) then the Netherlands (up 24.7%).
Countries Causing the Greatest Trade Deficits for New Zealand
Overall New Zealand generated a -$6.2 billion trade deficit for 2021, reversing a $412.4 million surplus in 2020.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
New Zealand incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- Germany: -US$1.8 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2021)
- Thailand: -$1.5 billion
- United Arab Emirates: -$1.3 billion
- Germany: -$1.2 billion
- Italy: -$947.5 million
- South Korea: -$818.2 million
- Australia: -$649.3 million
- Japan: -$647.8 million
- France: -$627.6 million
- Malaysia: -$608.3 million
Among New Zealand’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, New Zealand’s deficits with the United Arab Emirates (up 150.1%), France (up 99.9%) and Thailand (up 75.2%) grew at the fastest percentages from 2020 to 2021.
In addition, Australia ($263.4 surplus) and Japan ($203.6 million) reversed significant trade surpluses for New Zealand to cause large trade deficits for New Zealand in 2021.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate New Zealand’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for New Zealand to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Generating the Biggest Trade Surpluses for New Zealand
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2021, New Zealand earned the highest trade surpluses at the expense of the following countries.
- China: US$2.4 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2021)
- Australia: $730.3 million
- United States: $574.4 million
- Japan: $356.7 million
- South Korea: $329.1 million
- Taiwan: $232.8 million
- United Kingdom: $208.1 million
- Indonesia: $207.6 million
- Singapore: $206.9 million
- Hong Kong: $189.2 million
Among New Zealand’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, New Zealand’s surpluses with the United Kingdom (up 43.2%), United States of America (up 20.5%) and South Korea (up 20.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate New Zealand’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for New Zealand to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing New Zealand’s Trade Partners
Not one New Zealand-based corporation ranks among the Forbes Global 2000.
The NZX50 Index is the main stock market index for New Zealand. Based on that index, the following companies are among leading stock companies in New Zealand that have the highest capitalization values.
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (financial services)
- Coats Group PLC (sewing supplies, zippers, fasteners)
- Kathmandu Holdings Limited (outdoor clothing, equipment)
- Mainfreight Limited (logistics, transportation)
- Nuplex Industries Limited (resins for decorative/industrial/protective coatings)
- Steel & Tube Holdings Limited (building materials)
- The a2 Milk Company Limited (dairy products)
See also New Zealand’s Top 10 Exports and New Zealand’s Top 10 Imports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World FactbookCountry Profiles. Accessed on March 22, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 22, 2022