19 Dec 2013

Rural confidence rises again

6:26 am on 19 December 2013

More farmers and growers are expecting a happier new year, according to the latest rural confidence survey from Rabobank.

The quarterly survey shows a further slight pick-up in confidence from the already high level of the previous survey, with more than half of the country's farmers still expecting their business performance to continue improving in the year ahead.

The most significant lift in confidence was among horticultural producers, which Rabobank says was encouraged by an increase in prices, underpinned by the strong demand in export markets.

Confidence among dairy producers held steady, and beef and sheep farmer sentiment also remained at similar levels to the previous survey.

Overall, only 5% of New Zealand farmers had a negative outlook on the year ahead, with about a third expecting conditions to remain stable.

Rabobank New Zealand chief executive Ben Russell said improving farm gate prices for most agricultural producers was the key contributor to continued high confidence levels.