16 Jun 2020

Primary sector exports tracking $1.7 billion higher

12:09 pm on 16 June 2020

A new report prepared by the Ministry for Primary Industries says despite the impacts of Covid-19, primary sector exports are expected to grow this year.

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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

The Economic Update for the Primary Industries report shows for the year-to-date primary industries export revenue is tracking 4.5 percent, or $1.7 billion, higher than the previous year.

However, these gains are exaggerated by the falling New Zealand dollar, and if the NZD had not fallen, export revenue would have fallen 1.2 percent year-to-date from the previous year, the report said.

"As mostly essential services, the primary industries have fared better than other parts of the New Zealand economy through the lockdown."

"Many logistics-related issues remained both in New Zealand and overseas, but those were expected to gradually improve in the coming months," the report said.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said the sector was by no means out of the woods, as importers and consumers are re-evaluating their priorities in the wake of Covid-19.

But O'Connor said overall, consumers around the world were still wanting high quality goods from New Zealand.

"The strength of New Zealand's primary sector coupled with the success of our health response to Covid-19 gives us a head-start on the world as we get our economy moving again."

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