Dairy exports fell almost 6% in the June quarter, but overall exports and imports were down less than 2%, according to latest trade figures from Statistics NZ.
The seasonally adjusted trade balance for the June 2012 quarter was a deficit of $664 million, which follows a $708m deficit for the March 2012 quarter.
Statistics New Zealand says the seasonally adjusted value of exported goods fell 1.6% in the June 2012 quarter, after falling 5.9% in the March 2012 quarter.
"Seasonally adjusted dairy exports fell 5.7%," industry and labour statistics manager Neil Kelly said.
"Dairy products typically have the largest influence on total exports, and the June 2012 quarter is no exception."
The seasonally adjusted value of imported goods fell 1.9% in the June 2012 quarter, mainly due to a drop in crude oil. Partly offsetting this decrease was a rise in petrol and avgas imports.
The export trend has fallen for the latest three quarters, from a record high in the September 2011 quarter.
Values of imported goods have been steadily increasing since a recent low in the September 2009 quarter.
For the June 2012 month alone, export values increased $244m (6.2%) compared with June 2011, and imports increased $114m (3.0%). Monthly figures can bounce around sharply because of large one off items either way, so the trend is seen as a better guide to the state of trade.
The trade balance for the June 2012 month was a surplus of $331m (7.9% of exports). This compares with an average deficit of 4.8% of exports over the previous five June months.