[1 March/Radio NZ]

Due to record lamb and butter prices, New Zealand’s purchasing power with the rest of the world has improved. Official figures have shown the quantity of imports that can be bought with a given quantity of exports rose by 0.8 percent in the December quarter. Export prices rose 4.9 percent mainly due to the 12 percent increase in lamb prices to their highest level on record. Stats NZ Business Prices Manager, Sarah Williams, said dairy prices were generally high in 2017, with butter rising 11 percent in the final quarter of 2017 to a new high. ANZ Bank Senior Economist, Philip Borkin, noted that we’re adding more value to the products we produce, but the world was also going through a global upswing at the moment and that was reflecting strong demand conditions.