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Gold exports earning NZ$600 mln per year, but no growth nor recent benefit from high prices
A 'higher gold price' is not resulting in NZ miners increasing their output.
The quarterly balance of payments data releases give us a look at the value and volumes of gold being exported from New Zealand.
Annually, New Zealand exports a little over eight tonnes per year in gold bullion, earning some NZ$600 million.
The fast-rising price of gold in US dollars in 2012 has not translated into a bonanza however. That US dollar price rise reflects a devaluation in the greenback which means the price of the NZ dollar has risen as well. Miners are only gaining a small price rise in local currency.
Gold started the year at US$1,574.50 per oz, rising to US$1,598.50 by June 30, and stands at US$1,769.00 today. That's a rise of 12.3% so far this year.
In NZ$ dollars however, gold started 2012 at NZ$2,024 per oz, was NZ$1,997 at June 30, and is NZ$2,139 today. That's a rise of only 5.7% so far this year.
The big NZ$ price gains seen in 2008 are not present at this time, although those earlier price rises are holding.
Miners are continuing operations, but little new production has come on stream in 2012. Production exported in the June 2012 quarter was 2.033 tonnes, recovering from the unusually low 1.7 tonnes in Q1. Q2 exports were at a similar level to their range over the past three years.
These charts tell the long-term story.