New Zealand chalked up a $1 billion trade deficit in the September quarter with the value of exports falling 3 percent while the value of imports rose nearly 4 percent.
The Government statistician said the latest drop in exports follows the 7.5 percent decline in the June quarter and that both quarters' falls were led by milk power, butter and cheese.
Logs and wood exports also fell.
That has meant the value of exports to China fell into second place behind Australia for the first time in a year.
The jump in imports included an aircraft and, if that was excluded, imports would have been little changed.