Thursday, 28 April 2022 13:55

Dairy commodity price rises drive increase in March exports

Written by  Staff Reporters
Dairy exports have led a rise in the value of total good exports. Dairy exports have led a rise in the value of total good exports.

The value of total good exports rose strongly in March, driven by increases in dairy products, beef, and aluminium, Stats NZ says.

These increases were mainly the result of higher prices.

In March 2022, total goods exports rose $978 million (17%) from March 2021 to reach $6.7 billion.

Exports of dairy products (milk powder, butter, and cheese commodity group) led the rise, up $461 million (30%) to $2 billion in March 2022.

This rise was led by milk powder, up $180 million on a year earlier. The rise was price-led, as quantities exported fell 9.3 percent. Rises in butter (up $111 million), cheese (up $71 million), and milk and cream (up $56 million) were also price-led.

Compared with March 2021, unit price changes for dairy products included:

  • Milk powder (up 33%)
  • Cheese (up 27%)
  • Butter (up 44%)
  • Milk and cream (up 33%).

“The recent high prices for exported dairy products have pushed values higher in almost all months of the 2021/22 export season to date, despite a fall in the overall quantity exported this season,” says international trade statistics manager Alasdair Allen.

Exports of milk powder, butter, and cheese in the 2021/22 season to date (August–March) were 18 percent higher in value, but 6.7 percent lower in quantity than in 2020/21.

The total value exported in the season to date is higher than in the strong dairy export season of 2013/14 when international prices were also high.

Other contributors to the rise in exports were beef (up $101 million), unwrought aluminium (up $57 million), and casein (up $31 million). These increases were all price-led; average unit price changes for these commodities compared with March 2021 were:

  • beef (up 39 percent)
  • unwrought aluminium (up 70 percent)
  • casein (up 46 percent).

Of New Zealand’s main export markets, the United States had the largest rise, up $225 million (39 percent) to $796 million. The rise was led by increases in lamb, mechanical machinery and equipment, and casein.

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