Exports to three of New Zealand \'s top five trade partners plunged last month, as demand fell for crude oil and dairy products, while imports rose, the government statistics agency announced Monday. Exports to Australia, the United States and Japan were all down, while exports to China rose 22 percent year on year to 653 million NZ dollars (509.91 million U.S. dollars), led by sheep meat and pine logs, and exports to the Republic of Korea (ROK) were up 7.7 percent to 134 million NZ dollars, according to Statistics New Zealand. The value of total imports was up 17 percent year on year to 4. 6 billion NZ dollars, led by imports of aircraft and parts as well as crude oil. \"Higher goods imports led to a deficit of 774 million NZ dollars, the largest for a July month since 2008,\" industry and labor statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said in a statement. \"July months normally have trade deficits, but there were small trade surpluses in July 2011 and 2012.\" The value of total exported goods fell 196 million NZ dollars ( 4.8 percent) to 3.8 billion NZ dollars, driven down by crude oil, and milk powder, butter and cheese. The trade deficit was the largest of the previous five July months since 2008.