Economics and trade

Drop in the cost of butter leads to small fall in food prices

[15 January/ Radio NZ Business] Figures from Statistics New Zealand show that food prices fell 0.8% in December compared to the month before on the back of cheaper fruit and vegetables and grocery prices.  The price of butter also fell to an average of $5.46 for a 500g block.  Despite prices falls for many types...

Meat, dairy soften sales total

[10 December/ NZ Herald] Data from Statistics New Zealand showed the volume of all manufacturing sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent for the quarter, while the value increased 0.5 percent. ASB Senior Economist, Jane Turner said the increase was small compared to other periods due to the weak meat and dairy sales volumes. Ms...

Dairy-farm finances healthier, FSR says

[1 December/ Otago Daily Times] The Reserve Bank’s latest Financial Stability Report showed that most dairy farms were expected to be profitable in the 2017 – 2018 season as higher dairy prices continued to support farm incomes. As a result of this, the performance of banks’ dairy loan portfolios had improved. The report showed that...

NZ carbon price highest in six years

[30 November/ News Room] The New Zealand carbon price has hit its highest level in more than six years due to speculation the Labour Government was likely to lift a cap on the maximum price emitters paid. The price for a New Zealand carbon unit under the Emissions Trading Scheme last traded this morning at...

Govt to reveal plan for foreigners buying NZ farmland

[28 November/ Radio New Zealand] Associate Finance Minister, David Parker has announced that the government would reveal its plan to deal with existing applications for foreign purchases of farmland in the next few days. Mr Parker explained that the new approach would be around how existing criteria were applied, rather than changes to the criteria...

Summerfruit, Meat Industry Association sign GIA Deed

[5 October/ New Zealand Herald] Summerfruit NZ and the Meat Industry Association of New Zealand (MIA) last week signed the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) Deed. By signing the deed, Summerfruit NZ and MIA join 15 industry sectors that have agreed to work with government, and each other, to combat the...

Morrinsville farmer not impressed with Labour’s plan for water tax

[19 September/ NZ Herald] Morrisville Farmer, Bradley Pickett said Labour’s plans to tax 1-2 cents for each 1000 litres of irrigation water would cost him about $1,500 a year in taxes. Mr Pickett added that the Green Party’s nitrate tax along with the carbon tax would add the shock, and would likely lead to a...

Farmers seek carrot, not a big stick

[18 September/ Rural News] Morrinsville Dairy Farmer, Lloyd Downing said the protest centred around the disappointment amongst farmers due to the public blaming them for all the environmental problems in New Zealand, including the degradation of the country’s rivers. Mr Downing said he accepted that the expansion of dairying over the past two decades had...

Farmers protest against Jacinda Ardern’s tax policies

[18 September/ NZ Herald] Around 600 farmers have gathered in Jacinda Ardern’s hometown of Morrinsville to protest against the Labour Party and Green Party proposition to implement water and pollution charges. New Zealand First Party Leader, Winston Peters would not say whether he would allow the proposed water taxes to go ahead if in coalition...

Labour changes its TPP tack

 [11 September/ National Business Review] Labour Party Leader Jacinda Ardern would not rule out signing the Trans Pacific Partnership deal if she was unable to achieve the changes to the agreement Labour is lobbying for. Labour said previously it would not support the deal unless provisions allowing future New Zealand governments to ban buyers from...

Japanese beef ‘squeeze’ if TPP fails – warning

 [7 September/ Rural News Group] Trade Expert Stephen Jacobi said beef and a wide range of primary products would be squeezed in the Japanese market if the Trans Pacific Partnership fails. Mr Jacobi said the Europeans and Australians now have free trade agreements and the Australians already have a strong advantage over New Zealand in...

June quarter terms of trade rise to almost 44-year high

[3 September/ NZ Herald] New Zealand’s terms of trade lifted by 1.5 percent to an almost 44-year high in the quarter to June. Statistics New Zealand Prices Senior Manager Jason Attewell said the rise in export prices was largely due to higher meat and dairy prices, increasing 9.2 and 3.9 percent respectively. Westpac Senior Economist...

Vietnam may scuttle Trans-Pacific trade

[30 August/ Otago Daily Times] Although US President Donald Trump pulled America out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement earlier this year, the remaining 11 countries are considering continuing the agreement. Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo is hosting his counterparts from those countries in Sydney to discuss the future of the agreement, and there is a...

National’s ‘boldest-ever’ trade policy just a wishlist: Labour

[22 August/NZ Herald] National has released its trade policy in advance of the election, which it claims will unlock potential in markets with 2.5 billion people. Trade Minister, Todd McClay, said the package was the boldest ever trade push in the country’s history and contrasts starkly with Labour’s recent opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership....

Push for minimum TPP changes

[18 August/Otago Daily Times] Trade Minister, Todd McClay, said that the Trans Pacific Partnership without the USA remains on the agenda for the 11 remaining members and New Zealand will be pushing for an agreement with the minimal number of changes possible. Mr McClay said the TPP11 ministers have committed to moving forward as quickly...

Surplus rises

[29 July/ Otago Daily Times] New Zealand has reported a $242million trade surplus for June, higher than the market expectation of a $100 million surplus. An ASB Economist said the surplus was underpinned by dairy export volumes increasing by almost 14 percent. Imports increased 7.7 percent to $4.45 billion, led by car imports which increased...

EU farmer subsidies under threat

[17 July/ Farmers Weekly] The large subsidisation of European agriculture under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could be cut back as bureaucrats in Brussels struggle to control the European Union’s finances. The European Commission is looking for ways to mend an EUR12 billion shortfall created by Britain’s 2019 EU exit. The commission published five scenarios...

ExportNZ sounds warning over Labour, Greens, NZ First coalition government

 [7 July/ National Business Review] ExportNZ is concerned that New Zealand’s trade landscape will deteriorate if New Zealand First, Labour and the Greens form a coalition government after the election. Ms Beard said uncertainty regarding NZ’s trade future became apparent after Labour, Greens and NZ First opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Labour has argued it is...

Doors open for eight-nation, trans-Pacific free-trade deal

[3 July/ National Business Review] A new trans-Pacific free trade bloc is emerging after the South American-based Pacific Alliance admitted Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Canada as associate members. The Pacific Alliance bloc comprises Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia, and is grouping fast growing like-minded economies committed to the liberalisation of trade. All countries except...

China FTA talks set to resume

 [28 June/ Rural News Group] Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with China will resume in 2 weeks, and New Zealand looks to progress discussion on the elimination of tariffs on dairy exports into China. New Zealand’s lead Negotiator Brad Burgess said safeguards on dairy expire under the current FTA in 2022 and 2024, and all...

NZ exports rise to 3-year high in May

[27 June/ NZ Herald] Merchandise exports rose to their highest monthly level in more than three years in May as the country benefited from rising dairy prices.  Exports in May were 8.7% higher than the previous year at $4.95 billion, with dairy export values lifting 42% to $1.16 billion for the month.  The figures also...

Food prices rise at fastest annual pace in six years as vege prices soar

[14 June/ NZ Herald] The food price index increased an annual 3.1 percent in the year ended 31 May, the largest annual increase since September 2011 as increasingly expensive vegetables were made scarcer by wet weather. In May, food prices lifted a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent, the largest monthly increase in three years, as vegetable...

Firm prices sector-wide a good sign

 [6 June/ Otago Daily Times] BNZ Senior Economist Doug Steel said beef, dairy, forestry, horticulture, lamb and venison are all enjoying high prices above their respective five-year averages. Dairy prices rose strongly over the past year, and horticulture remained strong. ASB Chief Economist Nick Tuffley said Fonterra’s 2017-18 opening milk price of $6.50 per kg...

Dairy pushes NZ export power to 44-year high

[1 June/ Radio NZ] Official figures show the terms of trade rose to a 44-year high, increasing by 5.1 percent in the three months to March. Export prices rose 8 percent due to increases in milk powder, butter and cheese. Dairy prices increased 18 percent, but are 21 percent lower than the peak three years...