Sunday, June 16, 2024

Food and fibre export windfall

Food and fibre sector export revenue has hit new heights, reaching $57.4 billion for the year to 30 June 2023, 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,” said Mr O’Connor.

“This represents significant growth of more than $4.3 billion (8%) 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.”

Minister 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%), $178 million (9 per cent), and $21 million (8%) respectively.

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

Minister O’Connor said the growth showed that collective efforts by the Government and sector to build the foundations for future growth, sustainability and prosperity were working.

“Since 2017 food and fibre exports have jumped an impressive $19.2 billion, an increase of 50%,” he 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.”

Sector2022 Actual2023 ActualDifference% Difference
Meat and wool12,31012,120– 190-2%
Forestry6,5786,354– 223-3%
Processed food and other exports3,2263,4912648%

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