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Statistics New Zealand released its trade data on late Wednesday evening. New Zealand's trade deficit widened to NZ$1,035 million in August from NZ$726 million in July. July's figure was revised up from a deficit of NZ$649 million.
Analysts had expected the deficit to rise to NZ$850 million.
The increase in deficit was driven by higher imports. Exports rose 5.6% year-on-year in August, while imports increased by 19.0%.
Beef exports soared 46% in August from a year earlier.
"International shortages, rising production, and a falling New Zealand dollar have contributed to this record beef season," Statistics NZ international statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said.
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