5 Nov 2018

US-China trade war keeps hitting NZ exports

5:08 pm on 5 November 2018

Dairy prices are at their lowest level in two years as the value of New Zealand exports fell again in October.

Fonterra milk truck

Dairy prices were down 12 percent in October compared to the same time last year Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

In its fifth monthly fall, ANZ's commodity price index dropped 2.4 percent in October.

ANZ economist Miles Workman said global trade disputes were to blame and a weaker dollar did not help.

"The softening in the New Zealand dollar during October wasn't sufficient to offset weak global sentiment prevailing in commodity markets," he said.

"Trade disruption has dented confidence in New Zealand's main export markets, with the impact on China of particular concern, given our exposure to this market."

Dairy prices were down 12 percent on the same time last year due to lower asking prices overseas for milk powder, cheese and milk fat products.

Horticulture, aluminium, meat and fibre dropped too, bringing their value down about 4.5 percent annually.

Less demand in the United States for New Zealand-bred beef dragged prices down while a short supply of lamb kept prices high.

Forestry was a bright spot with log prices up about 6 percent for the year due to strong demand in China.

However, that eased in October pullling prices back slightly.

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