Season boosts exports

Higher volumes of exports resulting from last year's favourable production season boosted primary sector revenue over the past quarter.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) report of production and trade statistics says primary sector export revenue at $7.12 billion for the quarter was up 4.7 per cent on the previous September quarter, and at $32.43 billion for the year to September was up 0.5 per cent on the previous year.

"This was despite difficult trading conditions and a stronger New Zealand dollar," said MPI economic information and analysis manager Chris Jones.

"The result was mostly driven by higher meat and dairy volumes, as exporters sought to reduce stocks generated by the bumper production season."

Dairy export revenue was up 10.4 per cent for the quarter, due to a 36 per cent volume increase - largely from the 2011/12 season.

Meat export revenue increased 1.6 per cent to $1.04 billion for the September quarter, but the higher volumes were moderated by lower prices for lamb, sheepmeat and venison.

Seafood revenue was up 4.6 per cent to $385 million for the quarter.

Higher export revenues from sawn timber were not enough to counter weaker revenues from other forestry products.

Over the decade since September 2003, the dairy industry's contribution to total primary sector export revenue has increased from 30 per cent to 43 per cent.

- Northern Advocate

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