Record export highs picked for primary sector - report

Damien O'Connor said the positive outlook was a testament to every person working in the sector.
Damien O'Connor said the positive outlook was a testament to every person working in the sector. Photo credit: Newshub

A new report predicts a positive outlook for New Zealand's primary industries with record exports expected to climb even higher.

The latest Situation and Outlook report for the primary industries, prepared by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was released by the Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O'Connor.

He said it showed sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities.

"This latest report shows record results, with revenue up 3.3 percent on the previous year, forecast to reach a record $47.9 billion for the year to June 2020.

"Our horticulture sector is set to become the third-largest primary sector industry by value, overtaking forestry. Kiwifruit exports alone are expected to rise by 8.6 percent to $2.5 billion,'' he said.

The report forecast meat and wool exports to reach $10.4b for the year ending June 2020 - 2.5 percent higher than the previous year, while dairy export revenue was forecast to rise 8.4 percent to $19.6b.

A faster recovery in log export prices than expected last quarter had resulted in the forestry forecast being revised upwards of $190m.

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said a significant milestone had also been reached for the seafood sector.

"It's a fantastic vote of confidence to see that annual seafood export earnings are expected to pass $2 billion for the first time. The growth in this industry is underpinned by an increase in export prices and rising aquaculture production.

"It's really encouraging to see sustained growth within the seafood sector, with squid and salmon helping lead the way," he said.

During a time of change in the primary sectors, O'Connor said the positive outlook was a testament to each and every person working in the sector.

"Our nation's farmers and growers produce some of the highest quality food and fibre in the world - and the world knows it. They are bringing home record export returns and that's something for them to be really proud of."

Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries reports are released in June and December, with briefer updates in March and September.