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Lamb prices hit record levels in 2Q, pushing up terms of trade

Monday 2nd September 2019

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New Zealand’s terms of trade lifted in the second quarter as meat and dairy prices saw strong rises, with lamb prices hitting record levels.

The terms of trade, which measures the purchasing power of New Zealand's exports relative to imports, rose 1.6 percent in the three months to June 30 after lifting 1.0 in the three months to March, Stats NZ said.

Economists had been expecting a rise of 1.0 percent, according to Bloomberg.

Lamb export prices reached their highest level since the series began in 1982 and “both lamb and beef prices rose this quarter, up 4.7 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, on the back of strong overseas demand,” overseas trade statistics manager Darren Allan said.

Seasonally adjusted meat volumes fell 3.1 percent, with lamb volumes down 8.7 percent versus the prior quarter.

Dairy product prices rose 11 percent in the June quarter, with prices for milk powder up 11 percent, butter up 13 percent, and cheese up 3.1 percent.

Dairy volumes fell 9.3 percent following an 18 percent rise in the March quarter, also seasonally adjusted.

Prices for forestry products were the only major export commodity to fall on the quarter, down 1.7 percent. Seasonally adjusted volumes for forestry products also fell, down 1.9 percent on the quarter. 

Total export volumes fell 2.6 percent but prices lifted 3.4 percent.

The total value of exported goods was up 0.2 percent to $14.3 billion.

Import volumes were down 3.5 percent. Prices, however, lifted 1.8 percent. The total value of imported goods was down 0.9 percent at $15.3 billion.

Higher fuel prices drove the overall lift in import prices, Stats NZ said.

Fuel import prices rose 13 percent in the June quarter, reflecting higher prices for crude oil, up 17 percent, petrol, up 12 percent, and diesel, up 3.6 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

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