Primary sector export value continues to climb

New Zealand’s primary sector exports continue to exceed expectations with revenue forecast to grow 6.9% on the previous financial year.  

Today the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor, Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Forestry Shane Jones announced the Ministry for Primary Industries has released its Situation and Outlook report for March 2019.  

The report forecasts primary industry revenue to reach $45.6 billion for the year to June 2019, 3% more than December’s forecast.  

Damien O’Connor says primary industry export performance is up nearly $3 billion on the previous year.  

“This news will be welcome by many, especially in light of the significant challenges the sector is facing, with dryness being experienced in many in rural areas, especially the drought- affected top of the South Island, fires in Tasman and the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.  

“Yesterday we announced the medium-scale event classification for the drought had been extended to other areas across the top of the South Island so this news could not have come at a better time for the primary sector.  

“This export performance is all the more impressive considering there is a more modest outlook for the global economic environment and high degrees of uncertainty generated by trade tensions.  

“Import demand from China continues to strengthen for most primary industry products, and exports to the United States are still higher than historic levels,” Damien O’Connor says.  

The Ministers say the Coalition Government is continuing to progress quality trade agreements, helping the sector get more for what they produce, and being mindful of the ever volatile global conditions to keep our economy growing. 

“We are halfway through our term and the primary sector is hitting its stride because we’re working together to extract more value from what we’ve got,” Damien O’Connor says.  

Stuart Nash says he is heartened by forecasts of higher export volumes for seafood in key markets, especially China, the U.S. and Europe. 

“Growth in seafood export earnings from China has been phenomenal in the past four years. China is a key market for our rock lobster, orange roughy, squid and mussels. 

“It’s also encouraging to see mussel production and exports have recovered from problems with algal bloom in the Marlborough Sounds in mid-2018,” Stuart Nash says. 

Shane Jones says our forestry trade is booming as forestry exports continue to perform well with forestry revenue set to top $6.8 million, an increase of 7 percent from 2018. 

“We are seeing much of this growth come from increased demand for New Zealand logs, for example from China, driving both continued high prices and record export volumes. 

“The One Billion Trees programme will ensure this success continues, and is building the foundation for a profitable and productive forestry sector well into the future.  This will have positive, lasting impacts for our economy, our environment, and our people,” Shane Jones says.