[20 December/ Rural News]

Ministry for Primary Industries Sector Policy Director, Jarred Mair said New Zealand’s primary exports would decrease by $300 million to $36.7 billion next year, but would increase by 12.5 percent to $41.2 billion in 2018. Mr Mair said the drop in 2017 would be due to falling lamb and beef production combined with weak global meat prices. Mr Mair added that while dairy prices would rise by 3 percent, production would decrease by 1.7 percent. Mr Mair said the increase in 2018 would be due to the dairy industry coming back on track after farmers failed to break even over the past couple of years. Mr Mair added that horticulture would continue to grow, with exports of kiwifruit, wine, apples and pears set to increase from $4.9 billion to $6.3 billion by 2020.