24 Mar 2009

Demand drying up for NZ goods, report warns

10:18 pm on 24 March 2009

A collapse in world trade will put New Zealand's economy at even more risk in the next 12 months and demand is drying up for exports, according to new research.

The report, from credit and business research company Dun and Bradstreet, pulls together information from 132 countries.

At same time, the World Trade Organisation is predicting global trade will fall 9% this year - the biggest fall since the Great Depression, which began in 1929 and continued into the 1930s.

World trade tapered off sharply in the last half of 2008 to show growth of 2% over the whole year, after rising 6% in 2007, the WTO report said.

Dun and Bradstreet's New Zealand director, John Scott, told Checkpoint on Tuesday that the economies of 70 countries are contracting, including New Zealand's main trading partners.

Mr Scott said the report shows year-on-year figure for imports to China plummeted by 43% and the demand is drying up for goods New Zealand is trying to export.

As a result, New Zealand is now selling into harder markets to many of its export destinations, he said.