New Zealand’s trade deficit was smaller than expected last month as exports were buoyed by more shippings of crude oil and meat.
Exports rose 5.3 percent to $195 million, Statistics New Zealand industry and labour statistics manager Neil Kelly said, with total exports to Australia up $75 million.
Imports increased $257 million (6.6 percent), led by fertilisers and petroleum and products.
That led to a $282 million deficit for October, or 7.3 percent of exports.
The October trade balance is normally in the red, with an average deficit of 23 percent of exports for the previous five October months. For the year ended October 2011, the trade balance was a surplus of $627 million.
The trend for exports remains at record levels, 28 percent higher than the most recent low point in October 2009.
The trend for imports is up 25 percent since its most recent low point in September 2009, but is still 6.3 percent below its peak in September 2008.