New Zealand's goods exports in February were down 13 percent year on year to 3.9 billion NZ dollars (2.97 billion U.S. dollars), as the market for dairy products dipped, the government statistics agency announced Wednesday.
Milk powder, butter and cheese exports led the fall, down 41 percent, or 647 million NZ dollars (4.94 million U.S. dollars), from February 2014, due to lower prices and a 10-percent fall in quantities exported, according to Statistics New Zealand.
More than three-quarters of the drop in value was due to falling exports to China.
"Annual dairy export values are still coming down from the highest annual level, which was in mid-2014, but quantities exported have remained fairly stable," international statistics manager Jason Attewell said in a statement.
"Annual values are now 16 percent lower than for the year ended August 2014 and are at similar levels to late 2013."
Meat values rose 12 percent year on year, driven by frozen beef exports to the United States.
Imports rose 3.7 percent to 3.9 billion NZ dollars (2.97 billion U.S. dollars), led by consumption goods, such as clothing, and mobile phones in the capital goods category.
New Zealand had a small trade surplus of 50 million NZ dollars (38.16 million U.S. dollars) last month, down from a surplus of 797 million NZ dollars (608.35 million U.S. dollars) in February 2014.
The trade balance for the year ended February was a deficit of 2.2 billion NZ dollars (1.68 million U.S. dollars).