RTTNews - Friday, a report by Statistics New Zealand said the seasonally adjusted wholesale trade dropped 5.9% in the first quarter, the largest quarterly fall since the series began in 1995. Moreover, the decline was also more than double the previous biggest fall of 2.5% in the fourth quarter.

The drop in wholesales trade was driven by a record 16.9% decline in the petroleum product wholesaling, mainly due to lower world prices for crude oil during the first quarter. Further, unprocessed primary product wholesaling fell 11.4%, metal and mineral wholesaling was down 25.3% and primary product food wholesaling decreased 10.4%.

However, four industries recorded sales rises in the first quarter, led by food and grocery products wholesaling, which grew 3.3%.

On a trend basis, the wholesale trade sales has been in decline since the second quarter of last year, falling 8.4% since then. Moreover, this was the second time since the series began that the sales trend has fallen for three consecutive quarters.

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