Business / Economy

NZ trade deficit grows despite rising demand from China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-10 10:58

WELLINGTON - New Zealand's trade deficit in November last year was the largest for that month in six years, despite a surge in exports to China, the New Zealand government statistics agency announced Thursday.

The value of exported goods in November fell by NZ$94 million ($78.82 million), or 2.4 percent, to NZ$3.8 billion compared with November 2011, according to provisional figures from Statistics New Zealand.

"Despite a 60-percent increase in exports to China, decreases for other countries resulted in total exports falling, compared with November 2011," industry and labor statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said in a statement.

Exports to China recorded the largest increase, up NZ$259 million, or 60 percent, led by increased sales of unsweetened whole milk powder and pine logs -- both of which approximately doubled in value, said a commentary on the Overseas Merchandise Trade report.

Exports to Australia, New Zealand's largest trade partner, showed the largest decrease in November 2012, down NZ$133 million, or 14 percent, led by decreases in crude oil, partly refined petroleum and fresh avocados.

The value of imported goods was flat at NZ$4.5 billion for the month, but if one-off capital imports in November 2011 were excluded, merchandise imports would have risen 5.9 percent, the largest increase since July 2012.

New Zealand had a trade deficit of NZ$700 million, or 18 percent of exports, for the November month, which compared with an average deficit of 13 percent of exports over the previous five November months.

Exports were up 8.9 percent from October 2012, led by milk powder, butter and cheese, while imports rose 11 percent.

The trend for exports appeared to have been declining in recent months, and was 7.3 percent lower than its record peak in November 2011, said the statement.

The trend for imports has shown little change in recent months, and was 4.8 percent lower than its record high of September 2008.

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