Year-on-year, exports fell 6.6 percent to NZD 4420 million compared with December 2013, pulled lower by declining values for milk products, the nation’s largest export. The value of whole milk powder exports slumped 35 percent even as the volume increased 9.8 percent as higher production and weak demand pushed down global prices.
Meanwhile, the value of imports rose 7.6 percent to NZD 4580 million, led by a 44 percent increase in capital goods, boosted by aircraft and mobiles phones.
On a seasonally-adjusted basis there was a deficit of NZD 477 million for the December month.
In the year ended December 2014, the annual trade deficit widened to NZD 1.15 billion in 2014, from a NZD 0.317 billion shortfall in 2013. Goods sales were up by NZD 2.1 billion (4.3 percent) to NZD 50.09 billion led by milk powder (up 8.6 percent), while imports increased NZD 2.9 billion (6 percent) to a record NZD 51.24 billion, led by aircraft and parts.
China was New Zealand’s largest trading partner in 2014, reflecting its position as the biggest export destination and largest source of imports. Total exports to China rose NZD 26 million and finished just NZD 9 million short of NZD 10 billion.