13 Jun 2019

New Zealand primary sector boom: June forecast up by $100m

5:17 pm on 13 June 2019

The latest study of New Zealand's primary sector shows booming exports for the second year in a row.

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Photo: 123RF

The SOPI report (Situation Outlook for Primary Industries) shows total farm, fishing and forestry exports for the year to the end of this month forecast to rise to $45.7 billion.

That is a 7.1 percent rise for the year, and the it's accelerating: the June forecast is up by $100m on the forecast for the one three months before.

The SOPI report is prepared by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Dairy export revenue is forecast to increase 5.7 percent to $17.6 billion supported by strong milk production and sustained global demand.

Meat and wool export revenues are forecast to reach $10.2bn up 6.4 percent from the previous year due mainly to strong red meat prices which more than offset low prices for coarse wool.

Forestry revenue is forecast to reach $6.9 billion, an increase of 7.8 percent since 2018, driven by increased Chinese demand for New Zealand logs.

Horticulture revenue is forecast to have the strongest growth, by 13.7 percent for the year to $6.1bn. Kiwifruit, wine, and apples and pears got the credit.

Seafood export revenue is forecast to rise 7.3 percent to $1.9bn.

The only negative spot was held by the arable industry, whose earnings are forecast to fall 4 percent, to $235m, due to poor quality and lower yields in the 2018 harvest.

A much smaller but still strongly growing item was honey, with exports rising 4 percent to $45 million.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor praised the industry, saying the result was achieved against some tough odds.

"I know that, while the big picture is very bright, for many producers it has been a tough year," Mr O'Connor said.

"We've had regions affected by drought, fires, biosecurity responses like M bovis and fruit flies, and also untimely cool temperatures affecting some fruit yields."

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