New Zealand's trade deficit widens
New Zealand chalked up its third monthly trade deficit in October, repeating last year's pattern, as shipments of dairy products fell and imports rose.
The deficit was $718 million last month from a revised gap of $775m a month earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. The annual deficit widened to $1.37 billion from a deficit of $880m in the 12 months through September.
Exports in the month were valued at $3.46b, up from $3.3b in September, though down from $3.89b in October 2011.
Shipments of dairy products dropped 20.2 percent to $813m in the latest month from a year earlier, while meat exports fell 6.6 percent to $277m.
Log exports grew 5.1 percent to $294m.
Imports grew to $4.18b in October from $4.08b in September and were up from $4.11b in October 2011.
Imports of petroleum and related products rose 0.7 percent to $636m last month from a year earlier.
China was the biggest source of imports last month, rising 10.5 percent to $731m, followed by goods from Australia, which fell 4 percent to $626m. The US was in third place, falling 3.1 percent to $369m.
Australia remained the biggest market for New Zealand products, with shipments falling 4.6 percent to $912m, while those to second-ranked China fell 6.4 percent to $456m, and to the US declined 8.7 percent to $281m.