Press Release – Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers is buoyed by surging primary exports that has turned in the lowest trade deficit for an October month since the mid-1990s.

Exporting New Zealand forward

Federated Farmers is buoyed by surging primary exports that has turned in the lowest trade deficit for an October month since the mid-1990s.

“These export trade figures when coupled with the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research’s outlook for 2014 tells me we are turning the corner,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“The primary industries have got our collective foot to the floor and in the month of October by value alone, dairy exports surged an incredible 84.7 percent, followed by logs (26.2 percent), red meat (9.4 percent), fish (5.7 percent) and wine (3.2 percent).

“Of our big six primary exports fruit admittedly did go backwards but the trend overall is positive.

“If we look at the top-ten merchandise exports we now see preparations of cereals, flour, and starch within a hair’s breath of knocking aluminium and aluminium articles out of the top-ten. Not far behind that commodity is exports of casein and caseinates.

“Outside of the big primary exports, wool turned in a stellar October shooting up 13 percent to be worth $722 million in the 12-months to October. That’s a growth in value rather than quantity given the effect of drought on stock numbers.

“As to who is taking our exports, it really is an advertisement for trade agreements. In the past 12-months our exports to China are up a staggering 38.5 percent. While Australia remains our number one export destination I need to add ‘just’ because its lead over China is down to a mere $310 million in the year to October.

“I anticipate China will overtake Australia in 2014 given this rate of trade growth.

“In fact if you look at our trade with Asia, ASEAN and APEC countries, they have all grown while our trade with the EU has declined.
“In addition to the China Free Trade Agreement we have the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area. Not only that but we have separate agreements with Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Chile, Chinese Taipei and of course, Australia.

“These latest trade figures also underscore why the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) represents nothing short of an economic supercharger. It ensures we develop broad as opposed to narrow trade relationships.

“As long as the TPP comprehensively eliminates all agricultural and food product tariffs, as well as reforming non-tariff measures, it will be economically like the invention of electricity.

“Perhaps Professor Bjørn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Business School put the argument for trade liberalisation the best: “An expansion of trade, with estimated benefits exceeding $100 trillion annually toward the end of the century, would do thousands of times more good than timid feel-good policies that result from fear-mongering”.


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