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Biggest trade balance deficit since 2009

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/04/2016

A slump in the value of milk, beef and lamb has contributed to New Zealand posting its largest annual trade deficit in nearly seven years.

The annual trade balance for March was a deficit of $3.8 billion.

"The large annual trade deficit is a result of falls in the value of primary produce exports," Statistics NZ senior manager Nicola Growden said on Wednesday.

"Alongside consistent falls in the value of milk powder, values of beef and lamb have fallen in recent months."

The value of meat and edible offal exports dropped sharply in the March quarter compared with December last year, down 17 per cent or $300 million.

The March result is the largest annual trade deficit since April 2009.

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