New Zealand logged its biggest annual trade deficit in nine years on higher imports, data from Statistics New Zealand showed Friday.
The annual trade deficit for the year ended July 2018 was NZ$4.4 billion, the widest annual deficit since March 2009.
Annual imports rose NZ$6.9 billion or 13 percent from last year to NZ$60.7 billion. At the same time, annual exports totaled NZ$56.2 billion, up NZ$5.7 billion or 11 percent on a year earlier.
“The rise in imports in the past year reflect large rises in both imports of petroleum and products, and in mechanical machinery and equipment,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. “Exports of dairy and meat products led the exports rise.”
In July alone, the trade balance showed a deficit of NZ$143 million compared to a surplus of NZ$92 million a year ago.
Imports advanced 21 percent annually to NZ$5.5 billion, this was the second highest imports value ever. Exports rose 16 percent to NZ$5.3 billion.