27 Nov 2013

Trade deficit drops to October low

2:32 pm on 27 November 2013

New Zealand's trade deficit shrank to its smallest amount for an October month since the mid-1990s as exports grew much more rapidly than imports.

The trade balance for October was $168 million, compared with an average deficit of $531 million in the previous five Octobers.

Exports jumped 23% to $4.2 billion due to exports of milk powder, butter and cheese reaching both higher volumes and higher prices that month.

Imports grew at a much more modest 5.7% to $4.4 billion.

Log exports rose 26% in October, while exports to China rose 133%.

Imports of consumption goods rose 3.4% in the month.