RTTNews - New Zealand's trade deficit expanded in June, thanks in large part to the importation of a number of large aircraft.

Statistics New Zealand reported Tuesday that the country logged a June trade deficit if NZ$417.0 million.

The value of imports for the month was NZ$3.6 billion, a decline of 1.92 million or 5.1 percent. The agency said the decline occurred despite the one-time import of a number of large aircraft valued at $571 million.

The trade deficit amounted to 13.1 percent of exports.

Most economists were forecasting a June surplus of $265 million on imports of $3.19 billion and exports of $3.47 billion.

With one-offs (for the aircraft) removed, the trade balance would have been a surplus of $154 million or 4.8 percent of exports, Statistics NZ said.

Exports were valued at $3.2 billion, down $395 million or 11.0 percent. The major decreases in exports were in crude oil, milk powder, butter and cheese.
The decrease for exports compared to one year earlier was the largest since July 2007.

For the June quarter, the seasonally adjusted trade deficit was $217 million, or 2.1 percent of exports. That follows a negligible deficit of about $1 million in the March 2009 quarter.

Quarterly exports decreased 5.4 percent to $10.2 billion, marking the second straight quarterly decrease. Statistics NZ said dairy product values posted the largest decrease, despite a significant increase in quantities.

Imports decreased 3.4 percent on quarter to $10.4 billion. Removing the one-off aircraft imports, quarterly imports would have been down 8.7 percent.

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