New Zealand food and fibre exports set to top $50 billion for first time

by | Jun 9, 2022 | News

Export revenue from New Zealand’s food and fibre sector is expected to reach a record $52.2 billion in the year to 30 June 2022, Primary Industries Ministers Damien O’Connor, David Parker and Stuart Nash announced today.

“The latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) reports that this will be the first time we’ve hit more than $50 billion in food and fibre exports, and an increase of almost 10 per cent ($4.6 billion) on the previous year,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

“This is a tremendous result for the sector as farmers, growers and others in the supply chains who play such a critical role in our economy. They have continued to deliver quality products for Kiwis and overseas consumers while navigating global disruption and uncertainty.

“Our markets abroad are demanding high-quality products that are made with care, and this report indicates our exporters are responding to these market signals. To that end, the Government is investing to support farmers and growers to deliver food and fibre with low emissions and high sustainability, which will provide us economic security.”

Damien O’Connor said the SOPI, released by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), forecast significant growth across the majority of our food and fibre exports.

“Dairy export revenue is on track to reach a record high of $21.6 billion in the year to 30 June 2022, which is a 13 per cent increase on the previous year,” Damien O’Connor said.

“Meat and wool export revenue is also expected to see a healthy increase to $12.2 billion – an 18 per cent rise on 2021. Horticulture sector revenue continues to grow and is set to hit $6.7 billion in exports with our kiwifruit and wine performing well,” Damien O’Connor said.

Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker said seafood exports continued to recover from disruptions to food service internationally. “Our seafood exports are expected to hit $1.9 billion in the year to 30 June 2022, an increase of 9 per cent on the previous year,” David Parker said.

“We’re seeing good progress in the export recovery of our seafood sector, and export revenue is expected to be close to pre-COVID-19 levels. This most recent forecast should give the seafood sector reason to be optimistic as it continues to provide high quality products into international markets where there is tight supply.”

Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said lower export volumes triggered by global freight congestion affected export revenue for New Zealand logs and forest products in the year to 30 June 2022.

“Exports of our logs and forest products is expected to dip slightly on the previous year, reaching $6.2 billion by 30 June 2022, a small drop of 4 per cent. However, we expect demand to pick up from next year as infrastructure projects resume and freight issues ease,” Stuart Nash said. “I want to acknowledge the forestry sector’s commitment and hard work in keeping their operations running over the course of a difficult year. The sector has impressively addressed the challenges that have arisen due COVID-19, but forecasts show brighter days are ahead.”

Associate Minister of Agriculture Meka Whaitiri said the latest SOPI indicated the Government’s sector roadmap Fit for a Better World was playing a key role in boosting productivity, sustainability and meaningful and rewarding jobs.

“We are seeing Māori agribusiness playing a vital role in Aotearoa’s food and fibre sector, contributing to the social and economic development of Aotearoa, and also as significant contributors to New Zealand’s export success,” Meka Whaitiri said.

Damien O’Connor said looking further ahead there was good cause for optimism.

“The SOPI forecasts export revenue will continue to grow to $56.8 billion in the year to 30 June 2026,” Damien O’Connor said. “Supporting this is the excellent momentum of the Government’s trade agenda, which has seen us sign our historic free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK, upgrade our China FTA and progress negotiations on an EU FTA.

“We should be optimistic for ongoing success, while acknowledging the challenges of the last six months, such as supply chain disruption and rising costs of inputs across all sectors of production, driven in large part by high international oil and fertiliser prices.

“The basis for my optimism is our primary sector’s strong history of innovating and adapting to changing markets. It’s what has made us world-leaders and will keep us as world-leaders,” Damien O’Connor said.

About SOPI

The Economic Intelligence Unit releases a Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) report quarterly. SOPI reports look at the performance of our main primary sectors and forecast how they’ll perform over the next 2 to 5 years. See more here.

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