Nov. 27 (BusinessDesk) - 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 $775 million a month earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. The annual deficit widened to $1.37 billion from a deficit of $880 million in the 12 months through September.
Exports in the month were valued at $3.46 billion, up from $3.3 billion in September, though down from $3.89 billion in October 2011.
Shipments of dairy products dropped 20.2 percent to $813 million in the latest month from a year earlier, while meat exports fell 6.6 percent to $277 million. Log exports grew 5.1 percent to $294 million and exports of crude oil tumbled 27 percent to $132 million.
Imports grew to $4.18 billion in October from $4.08 billion in September and were up from $4.11 billion in October 2011.
Imports of petroleum and related products rose 0.7 percent to $636 million last month from a year earlier. Imports of mechanical machinery fell 3.5 percent to $497 million while imports of vehicles and parts gained 4.5 percent to $454 million. Electrical machinery imports rose 11 percent to $412 million.
China was the biggest source of imports last month, rising 10.5 percent to $731 million, followed by goods from Australia, which fell 4 percent to $626 million. The US was in third place, falling 3.1 percent to $369 million.
Australia remained the biggest market for New Zealand products, with shipments falling 4.6 percent to $912 million, while those from second-ranked China fell 6.4 percent to $456 million, and from the US declined 8.7 percent to $281 million.