The total volume of manufacturing sales rose 1.4 percent in the March 2018 quarter compared with the December 2017 quarter, when adjusted for seasonal effects. This follows a 1.5 percent rise in the December 2017 quarter.
Nine of the 13 manufacturing industries had sales rises in the March 2018 quarter. The largest movements were transport equipment and machinery manufacturing, up 6.0 percent, and meat and dairy product manufacturing, up 2.2 percent.
“The rise in transport equipment and machinery manufacturing follows a fall in the previous December quarter,” manufacturing statistics manager Sue Chapman said. “The latest rise is the largest since March 2011, and the fourth-largest rise since the series began.”
Meat and dairy product manufacturing sales rose in the March 2018 quarter, with sales volume up 2.2 percent. This comes after a 2.4 percent fall in the December 2017 quarter.
Overseas trade indexes show the dairy export volume fell 0.6 percent, while the meat export volume fell 8.8 percent in the March 2018 quarter.
Although export volumes fell, the volume of finished goods stocks (which is not seasonally adjusted) for meat and dairy product manufacturing was up 3.7 percent ($177 million) from the March 2017 quarter.
In current prices, sales values for the quarter fell 4.7 percent ($395 million) when compared with the December 2017 quarter. This is the first fall since the December 2016 quarter.
Business price indexes reported falls in both output prices for dairy product manufacturing (down 7.0 percent) and meat and meat product manufacturing (down 1.6 percent). Output prices are the prices producers get for their goods and services.
The actual volume of total manufacturing sales was up 2.8 percent from the previous March quarter. When price changes are included, the value of manufacturing sales was $27.4 billion in the March 2018 quarter, up $1.8 billion from the March 2017 quarter.