New Zealand producer input and output prices rose in the first quarter, lifted by increasing fuel and dairy prices.

Prices paid by producers - input prices - rose 0.6 per cent in the March quarter, Statistics New Zealand said. Producer output prices - or the prices producers get for their goods and services - rose 0.2 per cent in the same period.

In the March 2018 quarter, output prices for dairy cattle farmers rose 2.3 per cent, while the output prices for dairy product manufacturing fell 7 per cent. Input prices for dairy product manufacturing rose 1.7 per cent, mainly influenced by a rise in the farm-gate milk price.

"An increase in the forecast farm-gate milk price from $6.40 to $6.55 pushed up prices received by dairy cattle farmers," Stats NZ business prices manager Geoffrey Wong said.


"At the same time, dairy product manufacturers received less as whole milk powder and butter prices fell."

Meanwhile, rising fuel costs affected both petroleum and coal product manufacturers and farmers as higher crude oil prices lift costs for many industries.

Input prices for petroleum and coal product manufacturers rose 7.2 per cent due to higher crude oil prices.

Output prices these manufacturers received rose 4.3 per cent, reflecting higher diesel, petrol, and other non-crude petroleum oil prices.

Within other sectors, input costs for construction rose 0.8 per cent in the March quarter and 3.5 per cent on the year, while quarterly output prices gained 0.6 per cent and were 3.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.

On the year, producer output prices were up 3.5 per cent while producer input prices lifted 4.2 per cent.