New Zealand's primary sector exports continue to exceed expectations with revenue forecast to grow 6.9% on the previous financial year.
Today the Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor, Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Forestry Shane Jones announced the Ministry for Primary Industries has released its Situation and Outlook report for March 2019.
The report forecasts primary industry revenue to reach $45.6 billion for the year to June 2019, 3% more than December's forecast.
"This news will be welcomed by many, especially in light of the significant challenges the sector is facing, with dryness being experienced in many in rural areas, especially the drought-affected top of the South Island, fires in Tasman and the cattle disease Mycoplasma Bovis.
"Yesterday we announced the medium-scale event classification for the drought had been extended to other areas across the top of the South Island so this news could not have come at a better time for the primary sector.
"Import demand from China continues to strengthen for most primary industry products, and exports to the United States are still higher than historic levels," Damien O'Connor says.
The Ministers say the Coalition Government is continuing to progress quality trade agreements, helping the sector get more for what they produce, and being mindful of the ever-volatile global conditions to keep our economy growing.
"We are halfway through our term and the primary sector is hitting its stride because we're working together to extract more value from what we've got," Damien O'Connor says.
"It's also encouraging to see mussel production and exports have recovered from problems with algal bloom in the Marlborough Sounds in mid-2018," Stuart Nash says.
"We are seeing much of this growth come from increased demand for New Zealand logs, for example from China, driving both continued high prices and record export volumes.
"The One Billion Trees programme will ensure this success continues and is building the foundation for a profitable and productive forestry sector well into the future. This will have positive, lasting impacts for our economy, our environment, and our people," Shane Jones says.
(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)