8 Mar 2012

Commodity prices, strong dollar likely to hit agriculture

2:02 pm on 8 March 2012

A farming leader says says commodity prices are expected to ease this year, on the back of financial trouble in the euro zone.

Statistics New Zealand figures show agricultural exports have grown by $2.5 billion over the past year to $24 billion.

Wool exports are worth nearly a third more than last year, dairy export receipts are up nearly 20%, and while meat production is down its value is up.

The wet conditions over summer boosted grass growth which contributed to those increases.

But Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says the expected easing of commodity prices coupled with the high New Zealand dollar, will produce a stormy outlook for the agriculture sector this year.

Mr Wills says unrest in the Middle East could also drive up the price of oil which would affect exporters as well.