New Zealand’s primary industry export revenue is forecast to reach $43.8 billion for the year to June 2019, an increase of 2.5 percent on the prior year, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries’ latest Situation and Outlook report.

“It’s a promising outlook and builds on the strong growth seen in 2018, when export revenue increased 11.8 percent. In 2018, dairy prices recovered from the lows of 2015 and 2016, high red meat prices boosted meat and wool revenue, and strong demand for logs in China led to record export prices and volume,” said Emma Taylor, director of agriculture, marine and plant policy. 

Taylor said that horticulture and dairy are the “driving forces” behind the lift. Horticulture exports are forecast to rise 13.1 percent to $6.1 billion for the year ending June, while dairy exports are forecast to rise 2.1 percent to $17 billion, consolidating gains made in the past two years.

With farm production likely to be relatively flat in coming years, she said revenue growth is expected to be driven by moves towards higher value products such as cheese and infant formula.

Forestry exports are expected to remain stable at $6.4 billion for 2019, with log prices tipped to remain near record levels amid sustained strong Chinese construction activity.

Meat and wool exports are forecast to fall 1.3 percent to $9.4 billion in 2019. “Despite forecast increases in farm gate prices for lamb and venison, decreasing production volumes are forecast to lead to lower export revenue overall,” she said. 

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