French-New Zealand bilateral trade in 2014 [fr]

Bilateral trade markedly progressed in 2014: French exports increased by 12.1% while imports from New Zealand increased by 11%

Bilateral trade has markedly progressed in 2014: such as measured by French customs, French exports increased by 12.1% to €497 million, mainly generated (?) by aeronautic deliveries (+34% to €179 million) while imports from New Zealand increased by 11% to €397 million, supported by the good performance of agricultural and agribusiness products (+13.9% to €304 million). The trade balance is set for the fourth consecutive year in surplus, a rise of 16% to €99 million. New Zealand remains a distant market of a small size (60th consumer and 42nd bilateral surplus). It is a growing economy pulled by exports and where France could, beyond big contracts, diversify and develop its presence.

1. Modest and volatile bilateral flows

On average over the last ten years, the bilateral flows have been to the order of €800 million per year, with comparable amounts for exports and imports. Nevertheless the importance of this trade relationship is not the same for the two countries. According to French customs, New Zealand is the 69th customer and the 69th supplier of France. French exports to New Zealand represent 0.12% of the total of French exports in 2014. From New Zealand’s perspective and based on New Zealand customs statistics, France is its 24th customerand its 11th supplier. Similarly, the trade surplus, to the order of €100 million in favour of France in 2014, placed New Zealand at the 55th rank of bilateral surplus for France and France at the 6th rank of bilateral deficits for New Zealand (amongst European countries, only Germany has a bilateral trade surplus greater than that of France).

Furthermore, French exports, strongly dependant on aeronautic contracts, are much more volatile than imports, which are essentially made up of agribusiness goods. After having fallen by half between 2006 and 2009, until a low point of only €201 Million, French exports have progressively regained lost ground and have established in 2014 a new historic record at €497 Million (cf. image 1). The rise (?) was as fast as the fall, with an increase of 115% between 2009 and 2011. Given the stability of imports around €350-400 Million per year, France had a bilateral deficit between 2006 and 2010, going until an historic record of 139 in MEUR 2009. Since this date, the New Zealand dollar has appreciated by 30% in relation to the Euro, which favoured the return to the green in 2011 (to a level of €49 Million) then its growth in accordance with the big aeronautic contracts. Although the exported amounts of these two years are comparable, the part of the French market regressed from 3% to 2.5% between 2004 and 2013, reflecting the rise of other suppliers, led by China, which saw its part of the market doubled over this period from 9.7 à 17.5%.

2. A performance of exports essentially carried by aeronautics and agricultural materials

Transport equipment constitutes by far the first sector of French exports to New Zealand with deliveries of an amount of €219 Million, or 44% of the total exported in 2014. Indeed, this sector generates by itself the main part of the bilateral commercial surplus with a balance of €216 Million, taking into account the very limited exports of New Zealand (less than €3.3 Million in 2014). French sales are essentially made up of aeronautic equipment: up by 34% to €179 Million, these represent 28% of total French exports. Nevertheless this commercial performance remains volatile as it is depending on contracts won by Airbus from local aerial companies, and particularly from the national company Air New Zealand. The rest of the transport equipment is in the automobile sector, down slightly by 0.9% to €32.2 Million. The exports of rail equipment are on the other hand inexistent.

Second sector of French exports, industrial and agricultural machinery progresses from €50.6 to €73.3 Million. This essentially consists of sales of agricultural and forestry machines (€44.7 Million) and to a lesser extent lifting and handling equipment (€8.7 Million) and machines for paper industries (€3.5 Million). The French offer in this offer benefits from the strong specialisation in agriculture of the New Zealand economy, particularly meat, dairy products and grains. Finally, four less dynamic and significant sectors complete the flow of French exports: chemical, perfume and cosmetic products (-0.4% to €41.5 Million), food industry products (+0.8% to €34.3 Million) electric and household equipment (-0.4% to 19.6 MEUR), and IT, electronic and optical goods (-51.7% to €18.9 Million). This decrease concerns communication equipment (-53% to €6.3 Million), electronic components (-49% to €5 Million) and computers and peripheral equipment (-76% to €1.9 Million).

3. Imports from New Zealand essentially consisting of agricultural and agribusiness products

The agricultural and agribusiness products industry represents by itself 77% of New Zealand exports to France, or €304 Million in 2014, up 13.5% compared to 2013. Within this sector, meat and by-products represent 44% or €134 Million (+5.6%) and dairy products 34% to €51.4 Million (+13.3%). Fruit, nuts, grains, leguminous fruit, oleaginous fruit and canned seafood products are less significant but represent together a total of €84.4 Million (+34.4%).

The other principal export posts are much more modest, whether they are medical and dental instruments and supplies (+13.5% to €34.4 Million), pharmaceutical preparations (-15% to €9.9 Million). The medical, pharmaceutical and vinicultural are the only sectors for which the commercial flows are relatively significant in both directions (imports and exports),

See graphs on the French version of this article (Graphs in French only)

Dernière modification : 11/01/2016

top of the page