ANZ Agri Focus

A bi-monthly overview of current topics and developments in the rural sector. Includes a review of the past month and the rural property market, plus information on key commodities, financial markets and borrowing strategies.

Susan Kilsby

Agricultural Economist, New Zealand

About Susan

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2024 editions

February 2024: Harvest time

Mid-way through the predicted long, hot summer, some parts of New Zealand are benefiting from regular rainfall, but areas of the east coast are parched, particularly Wairarapa and Marlborough. Wine producers will be happy, but it will be tough going for pastoral farmers.

As we head into the main meat processing season, lamb prices are weak, as international demand remains down. Beef prices are also down on last season but are faring better than lamb.

A slowdown in global milk supply is putting a little upward pressure on prices and benefitting the dairy sector.

Farm costs remain high, but upward pressure on pricing is easing. We see the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) continuing to lift the OCR in the coming months, putting further pressure on interest rates, though this will be mitigated by the likelihood that the market will continue to price eventual cuts. 

Freight costs are rising as hostility blocks the Suez Canal and drought limits both the numbers and weights of ships traversing the Panama Canal. Asian routes are not directly affected, but costs overall are rising. Higher freight costs, like the high New Zealand dollar, erode farmgate profitability.

Contact an ANZ Agri Specialist

As each agricultural sector has its own unique characteristics and challenges, we have teams of specialists with in-depth knowledge and expertise in each of these areas to help support your agribusiness.

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