Final data upgrades food and fibre export result to new record of $57.4 billion


Food and fibre sector export revenue has hit new heights reaching $57.4 billion for the year to 30 June 2023 in the light of year-end data, bringing $1.2 billion more into the economy than was originally forecast, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.

“Food and fibre export revenue has hit $57.4 billion, setting a new record and surpassing previous forecasts of $56.2 billion to the year ending June 2023,” Damien O’Connor said.

“This represents significant growth of more than $4.3 billion (8 per cent) on the previous year to 30 June 2022.

"The focus on trade and export growth remains a major cornerstone in our Government's economic recovery plan, with the securing of new FTAs like the UK & EU, as well as an upgrade to the China FTA. These are resulting in more export opportunities and more value being derived.

"Our job now is to continue supporting our producers by opening doors for exporters wherever we can and build on the seven signed or upgraded free trade agreements secured since we've been in office.

"We need to work together to maintain our international competitive edge to ensure New Zealand's economy remains better positioned than many others against global headwinds.

"This Government has always backed our farmers, growers, fishers, and foresters to achieve success - investing significantly to support the sector to lift its sustainability credentials to maintain our competitive edge," Damien O'Connor said.

"I want to thank our food and fire sector for this outstanding result. These record results show resilience in global economic headwinds and though prices have come off peaks exports are forecast to climb to $62 billion by 2027.

“It’s particularly impressive following the tough start to the year for many due to Cyclone Gabrielle and other weather events as well as the dry conditions in the South.  I’d like to acknowledge the sector’s efforts.”

Damien O’Connor said most sectors continue to perform strongly, driving solid export revenue growth.

“Dairy export revenue reached a record $26 billion, an increase of 18 per cent on the previous year.

“Our horticulture, seafood, and arable sectors are also performing strongly, with growth on the previous year of $254 million (4 per cent), $178 million (9 per cent), and $21 million (8 per cent) respectively.

“Processed food and other exports also continue to go from strength to strength with growth of $268 million (8 per cent) on last year.”

Damien O’Connor said this growth shows collective efforts by the Government and sector to build the foundations for future growth, sustainability and prosperity are working.

“Since 2017 food and fibre exports have jumped an impressive $19.2 billion, an increase of 50 per cent,” Damien O’Connor said.

"I know the recent drop in commodity prices and elevated farm expenses will affect farmers over the coming year. Inflation has peaked and on-farm costs like fertiliser have dropped dramatically. We all understand that farming is cyclical and we're committed to working with the sector and to represent its work overseas.

“I want to thank the sector. They have successfully navigated enormous challenges over recent years, including the pandemic, which is a testament to their hard work, innovative thinking, and resilience,” Damien O’Connor said.

Export revenue comparison ($ millions)
Sector 2022 Actual 2023 Actual Difference % Difference
Dairy 21,998 26,008 4,010 18%
Meat and wool 12,310 12,120 - 190 -2%
Forestry 6,578 6,354 - 223 -3%
Horticulture 6,782 7,036 254 4%
Seafood 1,919 2,097 178 9%
Arable 252 272 21 8%
Processed food and other exports 3,226 3,491 264 8%
Total 53,065 57,378 4,313 8%