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New Zealand Trade Deficit NZ$1.436 Billion In September

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New Zealand posted a merchandise trade deficit of NZ$1.436 billion in September, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday - representing 41 percent of exports.

That missed forecasts for a shortfall of NZ$1.123 billion following the NZ$1.265 billion deficit in August.

Exports came in at NZ$3.47 billion, beneath forecasts for NZ$3.55 billion but up from NZ$3.38 billion in the previous month.

Imports were at NZ$4.90 billion versus expectations for NZ$4.65 billion and up from NZ$4.62 billion a month earlier.

On a quarterly basis, goods exports fell 4.8 percent to NZ$12.0 billion. Meat and edible offal led the fall in exports, down 15 percent (NZ$235 million).

"We are seeing the effect of lower prices after the record meat season last year," international statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said.

Goods imports added 2.2 percent to NZ$13.1 billion. Capital goods led the rise in imports, up 9.5 percent (NZ$267 million).

Intermediate goods were unchanged, up 0.4 percent, while consumption goods fell 3.0 percent (NZ$106 million).

The quarterly trade deficit was NZ$1.1 billion (9.5 percent of exports), marking the tenth consecutive quarterly trade deficit since March 2014.

On a yearly basis, goods exports fell NZ$210 million (5.7 percent) to $3.5 billion. Meat and edible offal led the fall in exports, down NZ$152 million (35 percent). Beef fell NZ$74 million (35 percent), while lamb fell NZ$70 million (39 percent) and milk powder, butter, and cheese fell NZ$7.6 million (1.2 percent).

Fruit climbed NZ$69 million (44 percent), while logs, wood, and wood articles surged NZ$51 million (17 percent).

Goods imports rose $86 million (1.8 percent). Capital goods led the rise, up NZ$72 million (6.6 percent).

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