WELLINGTON, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's imports increased 1.8 billion NZ dollars (1.27 billion U.S. dollars) year-on-year in August, resulting in a record monthly trade deficit of 2.1 billion NZ dollars, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Friday.
"This is a larger deficit than normal because of higher values for imports, particularly vehicles, continuing the trend observed over the last few months," international trade manager Alasdair Allen said in a statement.
August is also the month when lower values were typically seen for dairy exports, Allen said, adding the average monthly deficit for August months from 2002 to 2019 was 946 million NZ dollars.
In August this year, the imports growth was led by a rise in imports of vehicles, parts, and accessories. Other commodities to rise included mechanical machinery and equipment, and petroleum and petrol products, he said.
The country contributing the most to the increase in vehicles, parts, and accessories was Japan. This was followed by the European Union, statistics show.
New Zealand exports were little changed last month, Allen said, adding a large fall in aircraft and parts was partly offset by rises in other commodities including meat, logs, wood, and wood articles, and mechanical machinery and equipment.
"The decrease in the value of aircraft and parts exports was due to the export of planes to the United States in August 2020 for long-term storage as a result of New Zealand's border closure," he said. (1 NZ dollar equals 0.71 U.S. dollar)