25 Jul 2018

NZ records largest June trade deficit in a decade

6:23 pm on 25 July 2018

New Zealand has recorded the largest trade deficit for a June year in a decade, widening to $4 billion.

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Photo: 123rf

Imports rose 11 percent to $59.6 billion, led by more expensive petrol and diesel.

Exports also increased 11 percent to $55.5 billion, with the main contribution from dairy, meat and logs.

"The last June year surplus was in 2014, driven by high dairy export values," Stats NZ acting international statistics manager Dave Adair said.

"Exports dipped in 2015 leading to a deficit, which has widened since due to steadily rising imports."

For the June month, fuel imports rose due to delays in the reopening of the refinery at Marsden Point, leading to a deficit of $113 million.

"Solid domestic demand continues to boost imports, particularly for petrol and capital goods," ANZ economist Miles Workman said.

"The latter is being supported by the high terms of trade, investment and local construction activity."

Trade tensions between China and the United States appear to have boosted New Zealand's exports.

"However, the risk remains that New Zealand exports get caught up in boarder protectionist measures or that global demand slows," Mr Workman said.