OPINION: The news that most banks are pulling back or taking a more cautious approach to lending to the rural sector should come as no surprise.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy made the comments as he Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) released its latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) at the National Fieldays.
MPI is forecasting that primary sector exports will grow to $41.6 billion in the year to June 2018 – this is an increase of 9.1% and would be the highest level ever, says Guy.
“Strong forestry and dairy prices, combined with increasing production of apples, wine, and kiwifruit have underpinned growth for the year ending June 2017.
“Dairy prices for most products are forecast to remain at or near current levels as global demand and supply rebalance, while high forestry prices will continue to encourage record harvest levels.
“Horticulture exports are also forecast to continue their strong growth across a range of wine, fruit, and vegetable products. Meat and wool exports are forecast to recover to $8.5 billion following an almost 10 percent fall in export values for the year ending June 2017,” says Guy.
New market opportunities and diversification into higher value products such as chilled meat, retail ready products, and nutraceuticals will help to further increase the value of our primary sector exports.
“This week’s National Fieldays is a great showcase of the range of innovative and world-leading kiwi food producers who are really helping underpin the performance of our economy,” says Guy.
“The Government will continue to back the sector and support our exporters on-farm, such as through the Primary Growth Partnership and the Sustainable Farming Fund.
“The Government is also supporting our exporters in-market by investing $134 million over the next four years to achieve the objectives in Trade Agenda 2030.
“This strategy provides more support to primary sector exporters to diversify, greater resource to government to tackling non-tariff barriers, and aims to have 90 percent of our goods exports covered by free trade agreements (FTAs) by 2030,” says Guy.
Link to SOPI (June 2017) - http://www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/18443