Tuesday, 11 February 2020 09:38

Coronavirus impact unclear

Written by  Peter Burke
China is NZ’s single largest market for total primary exports. China is NZ’s single largest market for total primary exports.

It’s still unclear just how much the outbreak of coronavirus in China will affect New Zealand exports to that country.

China is NZ’s single largest market for our total primary exports and the number one for dairy, meat and wool, seafood and forestry. It is also high on the list for horticulture.

While there is no formal ban on our exports to China, the fact that the country is in lockdown is creating problems with distributing goods with many workers staying at home or facing restricted movement to do their work.

NZ Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has set up a special section on its website, which is regularly updated. 

It anticipates ongoing disruption to business for at least a fortnight, as Chinese local government agencies encourage staff to stay at home. 

Meanwhile, market analysts AgriHQ say farmers are being stuck with stock because factors beyond their control are conspiring against them. It says record high farmgate prices in November and early December prompted many farmers to hold stock for longer than usual. 

“Unfortunately, coronavirus came to a head when the market was expected to start picking up and consumption has collapsed.”

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