On Thursday New Zealand's monthly trade deficit widened to a record in September as meat exports dropped to their lowest level in more than three years. The country's trade deficit expanded to $1.44 billion in September, from $1.14 billion a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said.

Exports fell 5.7 percent to $3.47 billion, led by a 35 percent decline in meat and edible offal exports to $281 million, the lowest monthly reading since August 2013. That pushed meat exports down to third place in the monthly rankings, behind wood, although it remains in second place on an annual basis. Imports advanced 1.8 percent to $4.9 billion, boosted by the importation of aircraft in the month. Excluding aircraft imports from the total, imports fell 0.8 percent to $4.7 billion, the statistics agency said.