New Zealand posted a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$908 million in October, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday – or 23 percent of exports.
The headline figure was well shy of forecasts for a shortfall of NZ$642 million following the downwardly revised NZ$1.367 billion in September (originally NZ$1.350 billion).
Exports tumbled 5.1 percent on year to NZ$4.03 billion, beating expectations for a NZ$3.85 billion and up from NZ$3.61 billion in the previous month.
Goods exports to China led the fall, down NZ$433 million. Milk powder led the fall in exports to China, down NZ$459 million (77 percent), with quantities down 67 percent.
Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports to all countries fell by NZ$361 million, as other countries, such as Algeria, received a greater value than in October 2013, the bureau said.
“Milk powder exports to China fell after the record prices and quantities of late 2013, contributing to a 40 percent fall in exports to China,” international statistics manager Jason Attewell said.
Exports to Australia climbed NZ$32 million (4.0 percent), due to crude oil. Exports to Australia were NZ$185 million higher than those to China, compared with last October when they were NZ$280 million lower.
“Since June this year we’ve sent a higher value of goods to Australia than to China, but China is still ahead for the 12 months ending October,” Attewell said.
Imports surged an annual 12 percent to NZ$4.94 billion versus forecasts for NZ$4.60 billion but down from NZ$4.98 billion a month earlier.
The rise was across all three main broad economic categories, led by capital goods (including aircraft, helicopters, and goods vehicles).
The trade balance for the year ended October 2014 was a deficit of NZ$107 million, falling from a trade surplus of NZ$1.8 billion for the August 2014 year.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com