New Zealand's Primary Exports Set to Grow by 1.7 Billion
New Zealand's primary sector exports are making progress. According Damien O'Connor, Agriculture Minister, extracts and harvests made $1.7 billion more than last year - a significant indicator of NZ's Covid-19 road to recovery, .
The Ministry for Primary Industries recently released the Economic Update for the Primary Industries, temporarily substituting the June 2020 Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI). It showed that primary industries export revenue from the beginning of the fiscal year to the present grew 4.5 per cent from last year.
Export from NZ
O'Connor highlighted consumers' need "for healthy, New Zealand-made food." This is particularly evident in the "sustained demand for fresh fruit, particularly in Europe and North America and the strong demand for red meat in China."
He added that NZ farmers and growers are in a "strong position" to help reboot the local economy.
Rock lobster export (mostly to China) was greatly disrupted by Covid-19, but as seafood markets start reopening one by one, recovery is in the works where export from NZ is concerned.
"New Zealand kaimoana enjoys an excellent reputation around the world, built on the hard work of generations of fishing operators," said Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash. This sector alone brings in approximately $2 billion in export revenue into the country. Reopening this primary sector may contribute to faster recovery from the onslaught of the pandemic.
Log Sector Export
Forestry and wood processing were not considered essential services during level 4 Covid-19 restrictions. So outputs naturally decreased.
Shane Jones, Forestry Minister, said the logging sector went through "challenging times" and that "there is still considerable volatility." The Government continues to monitor the situation. However, he expresses confidence in forestry and wood processing figures. There may be improvements in the next few months. The multibillion-dollar sector is crucial to further economic recovery.
Export Report Reflects the Impact of Covid-19
The Agriculture Minister said the report also provides an overview of just how deeply Covid-19 affected New Zealand's export industry – as well as freight forwarding problems, very limited air and sea freight options. The report is also a testament to the cooperation between the sectors and the government as all parties worked together to operate safely despite restrictions.
NZ is by no means out of the woods, but its strong primary exports sector, along with a relatively successful pandemic health response, gives the country a head-start when it comes to economic recovery.
*Originally posted on the New Zealand Herald