6 Nov 2023

Dairy, horticulture sectors see strong growth in export market

6:38 pm on 6 November 2023
Brighter Future - Dairy. Dairy farming family the Mathieson's, Ewen, Dianne and Melissa talk about the boom and bust of their industry since 2008 and how they got through some of the tougher times.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The prices of key export commodities have risen for the second consecutive month, driven by dairy and horticulture.

ANZ World Commodity Price Index gained 2.9 percent in September, with gains for most major sectors, although prices were still nearly 7 percent lower than a year ago.

Dairy and horticulture saw strong increases, which helped offset weaker prices for lamb and logs.

A softer New Zealand dollar also lifted the local currency returns for producers.

Dairy prices rose 5.4 percent, with skim and whole milk powder leading the increase. However, cheese prices softened during the month, and were 21 percent lower than a year ago.

The horticulture index rose 8.8 percent in October, with strong gains in kiwifruit prices, while there was little change for apple prices.

"The kiwifruit export season has now finished considerably earlier than normal. The kiwifruit crop was considerably smaller this season, so picking, packing and distributing fruit was achieved within a shorter time frame," ANZ said.

The meat and fibre index fell slightly, with stronger returns for beef not able to offset a fall in lamb prices, ANZ said.

Aluminium and forestry both saw increases, with log prices nearly 10 percent lower than a year ago.

"China's demand for logs is steady and stocks of logs on wharves [in China] are reported to be declining. However, as yet there is not sufficient demand to push log prices higher," ANZ said.

It said demand for shipping services remains slightly subdued, with the Baltic Dry Index down 18 percent from the previous month.

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