Field Notes, powered by KPMG, is a weekly news update on news nationally and globally from the agri-food sector.
Primary sector goods have boosted the economy for the fourth year in a row accounting for $46.4 billion out of a total of $58.3 billion worth of good exports to June. The figure is set to dip slightly next year because of a fall in forestry returns, and is expected to be down by almost $1 billion next year to $5.8 billion, following a backlog of log and timber supplies in China. The Ministry for Primary Industries latest Situation and Outlook report shows New Zealand's dairy herd has dropped by 3.7 percent in the past two years, yet export returns from dairy continue to rise. Horticulture has continued to be a standout, with export revenue rising by 13.7 percent to $6.1 billion. ASB rural economist Nathan Penny has reported that New Zealand's food exports have been faring relatively well despite the US-China trade war and its impact on the global economy. Dairy, meat and fruit prices were all firm but wool prices had not performed as well. Mr Penny stated New Zealand wool ended up in higher end apparel markets which were sensitive to economic growth in United States and European markets. Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor reported that while Brexit remained a concern for trade, negotiations over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) were entering the final stages.