New Zealand's trade deficit in November was the biggest for that month in the past six years as export growth was outstripped by higher imports.
Statistics New Zealand says the deficit was $700 million for the month, and $1.5 billion for the year to November.
Radio New Zealand's economics correspondent reports exports rose by $300 million in November compared to the previous month, but that was overtaken by a $336 million increase in imports.
Sales overseas totalled $3.8 billion for the month, down 2% from November 2011, as exports to Australia, fell by 14% from the year before.
Exports to China were up 60% on the same month a year ago, boosted by a doubling of sales of dairy products and logs.
November's trade deficit of $700 million was equal to 18% of all exports for that month, compared to an average deficit of 13% of exports for the five previous Novembers.