Australia – NZ's top trading partner; China demands Fonterra products; housing debt up 8.2%, household deposits up 7.2%; real estate market favours buyers; smartphone rankings; Trump loses advisers, rates higher, NZD unchanged

Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.

MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
No changes to report today.

DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
No changes to report today.

AUSTRALIA – TOP TRADING PARTNER
Goods and services trade by country statistics released today show that Australia remains New Zealand’s top trading partner, ahead of China, and that Trans-Tasman travel was worth more than $2 bln each way. New Zealand’s largest exports to Australia were precious metals, jewelry and coins followed by crude oil, various foods and machinery.

CHINESE DEMAND
Fonterra is set to invest $20 mln at its Te Rapa site to meet growing demand for cream cheese and mini-dish butter. This is in response to increased demand for on-the-go dairy in China and across wider Asia. Chinese demand has been especially strong for Fonterra’s products, with a 40% increase in volume year to date. The taste trend towards butter is evident in the increase in volumes, rising from 17,000 tonnes in 2009 to 63,000 tonnes in 2016 – around 20% annually.

HOUSING DEBT UP 8.2%, HOUSEHOLD DEPOSITS UP 7.2%
Housing debt growth slowed for the fourth consecutive month in April, recording its slowest growth rate in 12 months. Nonetheless, Reserve Bank data shows housing credit still grew 8.2% year-on-year in April reaching $234.696 billion. Meanwhile, household deposits grew 7.2% year-on-year in April, reaching $159.138 billion. In terms of the other debt figures, consumer credit increased 5.5% to $15.316 billion, its fastest growth rate since August 2015, business debt grew 7.6% to $105.253 billion, and agriculture debt increased 2.7% to $59.247 billion. Total gross deposits rose 1.5% month-on-month to $314.571 billion, and term deposits increased 1.6% month-on-month to $162.093 billion.

BEEF MARKET
The world’s second largest exporter of beef India may pose a ban on cattle slaughter. India currently exports $5 bln worth of beef, which makes up 20% of global beef exports. The ban, if implemented, will provide other beef exporters, including New Zealand, new opportunities.

SMALL BUSINESS DRIVES NZ
Businesses with 20 employees or less make up 97% of all New Zealand enterprises, contribute $65 bln to the economy and employ 29% of workers. Small Business Minister Jacqui Dean welcomed this data from the MBIE and is committed to creating an environment where small business can continue to mature.

BUYERS MARKET
Buyers are gaining the upper hand in the Auckland real estate market as stocks of homes available for sale on realestate.co.nz rose by 51%, from 5718 to 8622. Housing stocks are also up in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Canterbury.

SMARTPHONES
Samsung regains number one spot in the New Zealand smartphone market, with 40% market share, based on shipments data from January 2017 to March 2017.  Apple, despite losing number one spot, increased its market share from 31% to 38%.

TRUMP LOSES ADVISERS
Donald Trump has announced that he will withdraw the United States from the 2015 global agreement to fight climate change. A number of supporters of the agreement have expressed disappointment and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger said that they would leave White House advisory councils.

EQUITIES MAKE NEW RECORDS
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite Index have all made fresh closing highs. For the Dow, the gains have been fuelled by industrial, consumer and tech companies. The VIX at the same time closed below 10 as expected volatility declines.

AUSTRALIAN NEW HOME SALES
The New Home Sales Report by Housing Industry Australia shows that new home sales in April grew by 0.8% after falling 1.1% in March. The sales activity, however, remains lower than the same period last year.

WHOLESALE RATES HIGHER
Local swaps curve has steepened today with the 1 yr rate down -1 bps and the 2 yr, 5 yr and 10 yr rates are up +2 bps, +3 bps and +4 bps respectively. The 90 day bank bill rate is -1 bps lower at 1.95%.

NZ DOLLAR RELATIVELY UNCHANGED
NZD is trading at the same level as yesterday at 70.7 USc. On the crosses we are at 95.7 AUc, and at 63.0 euro cents. The TWI-5 is now at 75.2.

You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.

Daily exchange rates

Select chart tabs »
US$AU$TWI¥en¥uan€uroGBP
The ‘US dollar’ chart will be drawn here.
Loading…
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ

The ‘Australian dollar’ chart will be drawn here.
Loading…
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ

The ‘Trade weighted index’ chart will be drawn here.
Loading…
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ

The ‘Japanese Yen’ chart will be drawn here.
Loading…
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ

The ‘Chinese Yuan’ chart will be drawn here.
Loading…
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ

The ‘Euro’ chart will be drawn here.
Loading…
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ

The ‘British pound’ chart will be drawn here.
Loading…
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ