15 Jan 2012

NZ farmers likely to be hit by downgrades

7:15 am on 15 January 2012

New Zealand's largest meat processer says the downgrade in the credit ratings of half the Eurozone countries will hit the pockets of farmers here.

France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Cyprus had their ratings lowered by Standard & Poor's on Friday.

Silver Fern Farms says it has been closely monitoring the European markets over the past few weeks, so the announcement did not come as much of a shock.

Chief executive Keith Cooper says farmers need to brace for a potential loss in revenue, because of the likely impact of the downgrade on the exchange rate.

He says the company will raise the price of its products if needed.

Mr Cooper says it's highly unlikely the downgrade will have an impact on the amount of stock being exported.