5 Oct 2010

Strong dollar lowers exporters' returns

8:33 am on 5 October 2010

The strong New Zealand dollar is continuing to eat into exporters' returns.

The ANZ Bank Commodity Price Index rose 2.9% in September, reversing four months of declines. The rise was led by higher wool prices which hit a 14-year high, as well as stronger dairy and seafood prices.

The index is now just 1% below the all-time high recorded in May - but once converted back into New Zealand dollars, the index rose just over 1% as the kiwi strengthened against all its trading partners' currencies, except Australia.

Even so, ANZ economist Steve Edwards says, exporters still stand to benefit from higher prices in the future, and he's expecting robust rises in wool and dairy to push the index to an all time high next month.

Mr Edwards is picking commodity prices to remain at elevated levels for the rest of the year, due to strong demand from Asia and the Middle East.