China’s protein needs good for New Zealand
If there is a second global recession New Zealand should come out all right thanks to our agriculture producers, BNZ agribusiness economist Doug Steel says.
‘‘It’s not a global recession yet but Europe is in recession and the United States is struggling. Uncertainty is as high as ever but New Zealand is holding up. We’re still making the right stuff and people are buying our stuff at the right prices,’’ Mr Steel told a rural business seminar in Morrinsville. The European recession’s impact was not expected to be too great for New Zealand because well over half New Zealand’s exports went to Asia and Australia, he said.
Food prices might come down in the short-term but in the mediumterm they were expected to be structurally higher.
In the year to June 2011, 40 per cent of New Zealand exports went to Asia, 22 per cent to Australia, 12 per cent to Europe and 9 per cent to the US.
‘‘China is still the main game in the world for what we’re making. China’s growth is expected to double in eight to 10 years’ time. That’s an enormous opportunity for New Zealand,’’ Mr Steel said.
KPMG head of agribusiness Ian Proudfoot said New Zealand should take advantage of China’s protein demand.
Sustainability was a top priority for China, and New Zealand should work collaboratively towards a single standard of sustainability, backed by science, he said. New Zealand should also focus on innovation, an area of under-investment since the 1970s. The key was to move away from the ‘‘eureka moments’’ to ensure an innovation pipeline.