12 Mar 2020

Drought, Covid-19 expected to slow primary sector export revenue

4:26 pm on 12 March 2020

The Ministry for Primary Industries expects drought and Covid-19 coronavirus will slow the growth of primary sector export revenue.

An aerial view of a container ship carrying exports (file)

Photo: 123RF

MPI's latest situation and outlook report forecasts primary sector revenue will rise 0.5 per cent in the year to June 2020 to $46.5 billion.

This forecast is $1.3 billion lower than the previous forecast published by MPI in December, with downward revisions to most sectors, particularly dairy, meat and wool, and forestry.

The report said given the evolving situation with the coronavirus outbreak and the drought, the latest forecast needs to be treated with more caution than usual, and further downward revisions were likely.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said the government was closely monitoring the situation the sector was facing and working with industry leaders to ensure New Zealand's products continue to get to market despite the global trade issues created by Covid-19.

"The sector is showing its underlying strength and resilience despite the challenging domestic drought and global conditions," O'Connor said.