NZ food and fibre exports to hit a record $50.8b

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says Food and fibre export revenue is projected to surge to a record $50.8 billion in the year. File photo.

Food and fibre export revenue is projected to surge to a record $50.8 billion in the year to June 30 2022 – an increase of 6 per cent over the previous year.

“This is the first time New Zealand’s annual food and fibre export revenue will crack $50 billion – a result we should all be very proud of, particularly as we navigate the challenges of Covid-19,” says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

“Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries forecasts healthy growth across the majority of our food and fibre exports, which shows that the future of the food and fibre sector is bright.

“The performance reported in this latest SOPI is a testament to the sector’s huge efforts to keep the wheels of our national and local economies turning and supply essential products.”

Damien says the sector was meeting strong demand as consumers around the world increasingly looked to healthier food and natural fibres with strong environmental credentials.

“High demand for our dairy products combined with strong export prices are expected to deliver an estimated 10 per cent increase in dairy export revenue to $20.9 billion.

“Meat export revenue is forecast to increase by 6 per cent to $11.1 billion, driven by recovering export prices and demand for our meat products that are helping to fill the global protein shortage.”

Damien says horticulture export revenue was expected to increase as well.

“Consumers can’t get enough of our fresh fruit and wine with demand remaining strong.  This is driving an expected increase in export revenue of 5 per cent to $6.9 billion.”

Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the outlook for forestry exports was strong.

“We’re seeing continued, strong demand for New Zealand logs from China and for sawn timber from the United States.

“Forestry exports are expected to reach $6.7 billion in the year to 30 June 2022, an increase of 3 per cent on the previous year.  This is only possible because of the resilience of our forestry businesses and their massive efforts to get back on track and tackle the challenges brought about by Covid-19.”

Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker says seafood exports were recovering from the challenges posed by Covid-19, such as the disruption to food service.

“Seafood export revenue is forecast to rise 4 per cent to $1.9 billion in the year to 30 June 2022, as countries open up and food service resumes.

“The growth forecast in this SOPI is promising, reflecting the seafood sector’s continuing success providing high-quality seafood to international markets.”

Damien says the Government was backing projects and initiatives to drive more value, sustainability, and jobs in the food and fibre sector, to strengthen the foundations of New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery.

 “Growing value, sustainability, and jobs are central to our 10-year food and fibre sector roadmap Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential.

“We’re investing alongside the sector in innovative projects through our Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund and getting more Kiwis into jobs through initiatives like Opportunity Grows Here.

“Reaching Agreement in Principle for the New Zealand – United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement in October will enable our exporters to compete on a level playing field in the UK market, and will open up valuable new opportunities for New Zealand exports.”

Damien says it was important to acknowledge the hard work of rural New Zealand and to celebrate the performance and successes in the latest SOPI.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have had an economy that’s kept ticking due to our health-focused Covid-19 response, which has been backed by New Zealanders.

“Together we’ve kept ourselves safe so we can continue to do business, and this SOPI points to the benefit of these efforts.”

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