Coronavirus: New Zealand exports in strong demand during pandemic

Sales for the year to date are up nearly $1 billion.
Sales for the year to date are up nearly $1 billion. Photo credit: Getty

Revenue from dairy, meat and horticulture exports are soaring amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales for the year to date are up nearly $1 billion compared with the same period a year earlier.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) Insight report said a mixture of strong demand from the Chinese market, flexible supply chains and trust in the hygiene of New Zealand's food processing were responsible for driving the growth in export sales.

NZIER principal economist Chris Nixon said the country's primary industries were well positioned to whether the storm brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We have strong institutions which support our food processing sector that people around the world trust.

"Our trade policies has also allowed us into markets which others can't get into."

He said land based industries produced a range of products and were able to meet a range of demands.

"The flexibility of our supply chains are very important and underpin our ability to create value."

The report said there was 'cautious optimism' around the continued demand for New Zealand farmed products as the demand for quality food will always remain.

"We have the products that consumers want. As Asia moves to more Western-style diets we expect that demand to remain solid."

However, Nixon did have a word of caution.

He said the United States' ongoing struggles to contain the virus could impact the consumption of retail goods, which would affect Chinese exporters.

"Care needs to be taken because the Chinese also depend on exports, and exports to the United States are a big part of their income, so anything that limits their income to buy New Zealand products is also a worry."