24 Jul 2015

Trade deficit widens in June

1:45 pm on 24 July 2015

The country posted a trade deficit in June due to a strong lift in imports and a dip in exports, pushing the annual deficit to its largest in six years.

The deficit for the month was $60 million, as exports fell 3 percent on the previous month, while imports rose 7.6 percent.

The annual trade deficit to the end of June widened to $2.85 billion, the largest since June 2009. It is also the first deficit reported in the month of June in six years.

Exports to China rose in June for the first time since August 2014, increasing $20 million from a year earlier, taking them to $699 million.

The rise was over a range of commodities, including meat, logs and fruit, though whole milk powder continued its recent falls.

BNZ senior economist Doug Steel said the underlying trade figures were stronger than expected and that growth on the import side was driven up by the weaker New Zealand dollar and strong domestic demand.

He said the increase in exports to China was driven by beef exports and the weaker currency.

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