Economics and trade

Indonesia misses meat deadline

(4 July/Farmers Weekly) The Government is weighing up its options after Indonesia again failed to meet a deadline to comply with a ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in its billion-dollar beef dispute with New Zealand. In 2016, New Zealand and the United States appealed the rules blocking beef and horticultural imports into Indonesia...

NZ questions US farm subsidies

[28 June/Farmers Weekly] New Zealand is among a handful of World Trade Organisation (WTO) members pushing the United States to come clean over billions of dollars paid to its farmers as compensation for the trade war with China. In May US President Donald Trump announced a further US$16b in payments to follow US$12b in aid...

Costco’s coming: World’s second-largest retailer unveils NZ store

[11 June/NZ Herald] Costco Wholesale Corporation, the world’s second-largest retailer behind Walmart, has just announced it will open its first New Zealand store in Westgate. The entire project is based on about 14,000sq m which is roughly equivalent to two rugby fields, and will provide over 800 carparks as well as the equivalent of 350...

Apple growers dodge Brexit bullet

[07 May/Farmers Weekly] Apple exports have dodged the Brexit bullet with British Prime Minister Theresa May buying further time till the end of October to get backing for her plan. However, Hastings-based Mr Apple Chief Executive Andrew van Workum says any hold-ups will come too late to disrupt New Zealand apple exports and that they...

NZ commodity prices extend gain in April, March figures revised higher

[06 May/The Country] New Zealand commodity prices increased again in April, with revised figures for March also being released as the gains were higher than previously reported. The ANZ world commodity price lifted 2.5 percent in April after a corrected 4.1 percent lift in March which leaves the index 2.1 percent higher than a year...

New Zealand Food Basket; 18 NZ brands hit China

[18 April/NZ Herald] 18 New Zealand food and beverage brands will jointly sell products in China following a partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba. The brands have partnered to create New Zealand Food Basket Ltd which will launch on the Tmall Fresh e-commerce platform this week. 8 brands are already on sale on the platform, and...

Banks claim their books solid

[12 April/Farmers Weekly] ASB and Rabobank are the two banks with the highest proportion of non-performing farm loans in New Zealand according to the Reserve Bank’s financial strength dashboard. Both ASB and Rabobank maintain their loan books remain solid. Each bank holds about 17 percent of the market’s agricultural loans. A Rabobank spokesman said the...

China’s appetite continues to grow for New Zealand exports

[28 March/The Country] In the ten years since the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and China, exports have exponentially increased from $2.1 billion in 2008 to $16.6 billion in 2018. This amount is nearly twice what New Zealand exports to the USA. The Chinese government, initially signed to help reduce poverty in China....

EU chief talks up free trade deal

[27 February/Rural News Group] Phil Hogan, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development is optimistic that a quality free trade agreement (FTA) will be set up with New Zealand before the end of the year. Mr Hogan visited New Zealand briefly last week to discuss current FTA negotiations with three more formal rounds scheduled...

Chinese landing eyed for NZ apples

[20 February/Rural News Group] Gourmet apple producer Rockit Global is the latest to join a New Zealand-led collaboration in China. Rockit Global is hoping another New Zealand company, Primary Collaboration New Zealand (Shangahi) Co Ltd (PCNZ) will help to increase its presence and sales in China. PCNZ represents 13 New Zealand brands in China and...

Strong farm sector expected to help economy bounce back

[26 February/The Country] In Westpac’s monthly economic overview, the bank’s Chief Economist Dominick Stephens said key drivers of 2019 growth would be a successful farm sector and government spending. Mr Stephens said that although there was a clear economic slowdown in late 2018, he believes that the predicted momentum would be regained this year. ASB...

Broccoli prices doubled in January

[14 February /Radio NZ] In January, broccoli prices doubled, with lettuce also increasing its prices by 80%. However food prices overall fell a seasonally adjusted 0.6% compared to December which shows a drop in both the prices of fruit and vegetables along with grocery prices. Avocados are cheaper than this time last year. Milk is...

NZ agriculture groups urge WTO rescue at global forums

[23 January/Radio NZ] Seven major agricultural organisations are urging the government to use forums like the World Economic Forum meeting of global government and business leaders in Davos to try to rescue the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern used the WEF meeting to speak about issues like climate change and New Zealand’s...

UK veterinary agreement ensures status quo for exporters

[25 January/The Country] The signing of a veterinary agreement between the UK and New Zealand during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to London should provide reassurance to farmers and exporters about trade after Brexit according to Beef + Lamb NZ and Meat Industry Association. In a joint statement, the organisations Chief Executive’s said the signing...

China watchers cautious for 2019

[23 January/Farmers Weekly] The economic slowdown in China and damage from its trade war with the United States could impact prices for New Zealand’s major export commodities this year according to analysts. Westpac senior economist Anne Boniface highlighted lamb, noting that Chinese demand for the product appears to have been little affected by the economic...

Ardern acknowledges hard Brexit could be difficult for New Zealand businesses

[21 January/NZ Herald] While in London, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged if Britain left the European Union (EU) on 29 March with a hard exit and no deal in place, it would be damaging for New Zealand businesses. If this scenario eventuates the New Zealand government’s focus would be on supporting businesses through the shift....

CPTPP nations meet in Tokyo for first commission meeting

[20 January/NZ Herald] Trade Minister David Parker is in Tokyo for the first CPTPP commission meeting. The CPTPP is open to all economies which accept its principles, signatory countries have agreed at their first commission meeting in Tokyo. Seven of the eleven CPTPP countries have ratified the agreement including Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore. The...

Slowing likely to weigh on prices

[12 January/Otago Daily Times] Slowing Chinese growth is likely to put pressure on New Zealand commodity prices this year, ASB senior rural economist Nathan Penny reported. This year’s outlook followed relatively positive prices throughout last year. The average level of prices last year was comfortably above the 10-year average in both USD and NZD terms....

The CPTPP: What does it mean for New Zealand?

[December 31/Stuff] The CPTPP came in to effect on 31 December. The trade agreement enhances New Zealand exporter’s access to many new markets including Japan, Mexico and Canada. Executive Director of ExportNZ, Catherine Beard, said that New Zealand would benefit from $222 million in tariff savings yearly. This will enable more money to be available...

Regional economies on the rise

[29 December/Radio NZ]   Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor for the 12 months ending September 2018 reported growth in the regions as strong, noting the Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui and Nelson-Tasman economies with growth faster than Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Hawke’s Bay’s GDP increased 3.1 percent, Manawatu-Wanganui 3.8 percent, and Nelson-Tasman’s growth was up 3.2 percent in...

Record-high primary sector exports forecast

[13 December/The Country] Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, expects New Zealand’s primary sector exports are set to reach a record high over the coming year based on figures in the Ministry for Primary Industries’ latest Situation and Outlook report.  The report forecasts a 3.8% increase in export earnings for the year ending June 2019 to $44.3billion...

NZ dairy group joins fight to try and save WTO

[30 November/Radio NZ] The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand was joined with other peak dairy organisations across the world to launched an unprecedented campaign to try and save the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The move is in response to steps taken by the Trump administration to block the appointment of new judges to the...

Annual trade deficit largest since 2007

[28 November/Otago Daily Times] Imports far outweighed exports for October, taking the annual trade deficit to $5.8 billion, its largest deficit since October 2007. With exports dipping 6.4% month on month and the cost of imports increasing as a result of a then low New Zealand dollar and increased imported fuel costs. Statistics New Zealand...

‘Cold war’ could force choice

[17 November/Otago Daily Times] New Zealand’s agricultural sector is being advised to look for alternate trading markets with the developing “cold war” between the US and China. The increasing trade tensions between the superpowers could produce a situation in which New Zealand is forced to choose sides, Rabobank’s head of financial markets research for Asia-Pacific,...