15 Dec 2015

Primary exports projected to hit $37.6b

3:45 pm on 15 December 2015

New Zealand's primary sector export revenue is expected to increase to $37.6 billion in the year ending June 2016, up $1.9b from the previous year.

That's according to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)'s updated Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries, released this morning.

MPI said it expected meat and wool, horticulture and forestry export revenues to support New Zealand's primary sector export growth to 2017, and help offset price falls in the dairy sector.

It said the signs across the primary sector were encouraging.

The meat and wool sector was expected to continue its strong growth, with revenue expected to rise by about 10 percent on a year ago because of demand from the US.

New Zealand will meet its beef quota to the US this season for the first time since 2004. Chinese demand for wool also remained strong.

Milk production was expected to be down 7 percent this season because of weaker dairy prices.

However, MPI expected prices to rebound going into 2017, as current dairy stocks were used up and demand improved.

Forestry exports were forecast to rise by $613 million, with a rise in sawn timber offsetting lower log exports.

The opening of two new salmon farms was expected to raise seafood exports by $200m.

The outlook was equally strong for kiwifruit and wine and the horticulture sector was expected to have boosted exports by $700m.