Exporters and importers both expect the exchange rate to remain high over the year ahead, a survey commissioned by ASB Bank found.

On average they expect the New Zealand dollar to peak at US85.6c around the middle of next year, up from around 82.5c now and 81c when the survey was done late last month.

Importers expect it to peak at 87.4c by March next year before easing slightly to 85c a year from now.

Exporters see some easing in the near term, to just under 80c by the end of the year, before a recovery to a peak of 85.4c by next June.


For the longer term, the 369 firms surveyed expect a much lower exchange rate over the next 10 years: 64.9c among importers and 60.4c among exporters.

ASB's own economists, however, see a significantly higher long-term track for the kiwi - at least 70c. It has averaged around 69c over the past 10 years and 71c since dairy prices began a sustained lift in 2004.

"A key driver behind our expectation is long-term strength in export commodity prices triggered by the rise in Asia's middle class," said ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley.