8 Dec 2011

Potato exports pass $100m mark

6:39 am on 8 December 2011

New Zealand potato exports reached a new high, topping $100 million in value in the past year.

More than 93,000 tonnes of potatoes were exported, about two-thirds of them processed as frozen products and the rest as fresh produce.

Potatoes New Zealand says increasing demand in the key markets of Australia, Japan and South Korea contributed to the increase.

A fall in the New Zealand dollar also helped to push up the value.

Potatoes NZ says the establishment of an export market development group for the sector two years ago, also played a part by helping New Zealand gain access to the Taiwanese and South Korean markets.

Business Manager Ron Gall says growing the export trade is essential as the industry copes with the threat from tomato-potato psyllid - a pest that's affecting production.