[19 March/Stuff]

Export returns from farms, orchards, forests and fishing are expected to hit a new record of $42.4 billion by the end of June . According to the Ministry for Primary Industries, this would be a 10.8 percent increase and that its forecast reflected a recovery in dairy prices over the past 12-18 months, rising red meat prices, and high log prices. Dairy cow numbers have fallen, however increased efficiency and higher value products have increased export figures. Policy and Trade Acting Deputy-Director General, Jarred Mair, said further gains in 2019 were forecast to be more modest and that growth was likely to be constrained in most sectors. In horticulture, apples, pears, kiwifruit, avocados and wine were all increasing in production and mussels were predicted to overtake rock lobsters as the most valuable seafood export by June. Arable yields are also expected to rise overall.