[26 July/Otago Daily Times]

New Zealand’s annual trade deficit is over $4 billion. This was largely due to a weakening in dairy export values widening the gap. New Zealand’s annual imports increased by $6.02 billion whereas exports rose by $5.65 billion. ASB’s Senior Rural Economist, Nathan Penny, said the balance was weaker than expected and the June deficit was the largest in a decade. He added lower than expected export values accounted for two thirds of the surprise decline. Westpac Senior Economist, Michael Gordon, said exports rose 2.5 percent in June, which was a smaller gain than expected. Oil imports fell during the maintenance shutdown of the Marsden Point refinery. Statistics New Zealand’ Acting International Statistics Manager, Dave Adair, said the last June year surplus was in 2014, driven by dairy export values. The latest rise in annual imports was led by $24 billion of intermediate goods.