20 Apr 2010

NZ to benefit from predicted yuan move

8:21 am on 20 April 2010

New Zealand exporters appear to be in line for another windfall in their booming trade with China.

The country's leaders have apparently bowed to pressure to allow a gradual rise in its currency, the yuan.

Financial research and credit rating company Moodys says commodity exporters such as New Zealand and Australia will be the big beneficiaries of such a move.

Moody's China economist, Alistair Chan, says it will also make it easier for Chinese businesses to buy stragtegic assets overseas, which could include New Zealand dairy interests.

Forestry company Rayonier says a stronger yuan will boost log exports to China, which have already doubled over the past year.

The yuan has been kept at artificially low levels to boost Chinese exports.

A showdown was averted recently when US lawmakers resisted labelling the Asian powerhouse a currency manipulator - which could have led to a trade war.

Instead, top US officials met Chinese counterparts in what was widely seen as a prelude to allowing the yuan to rise gradually over the next few years.