New Zealand reported a seasonally adjusted trade deficit of $1.4 billion in April as imports continue to outstrip exports. Imports were $7.7bn, down 1.1% compared with March, while exports were $6.3bn, up 8%. In the year ended April, the annual trade deficit was $16.8bn, which is far larger than it has been for the year ended April in the past decade. Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny says higher oil prices explain a big chunk of the wider deficit over the year, while there is general inflation across imports as well. He says the NZ economy has been growing, so domestic demand remained relatively strong over the past year, while export values have grown too, but not at the same pace. Most exports go to China with the total of $72.8bn in exports and $20.3bn going to China. Milk powder, butter and cheese remain the leading export group, followed by meat and edible offal. Petroleum and product imports continued to top the chart, followed by mechanical machinery and equipment.