An­other hit for NZ’s re­turns

Otago Daily Times - - BUSINESS & MONEY - SIMON HART­LEY

THE soft­en­ing New Zealand dol­lar dur­ing Oc­to­ber was not enough to off­set the de­cline in com­mod­ity prices, which fell for the fifth month in a row.

The over­all drop in the ANZ world com­mod­ity price in­dex by 2.4% for Oc­to­ber was iden­ti­cal to Septem­ber’s re­sult, ANZ econ­o­mist Miles Work­man said.

The an­nual growth rate was down 5.6% against a year ago, hav­ing been driven down by weaker prices for most com­modi­ties, he said.

Month on month, dairy prices fell 3.1%, meat and fi­bre de­clined 2%, hor­ti­cul­ture shed 4.3% and forestry lost 1.5%, al­though the lat­ter two were both up on a year ago, by 4.5% and 6.1% re­spec­tively. Alu­minium prices man­aged a tiny a 0.3% gain but were down 4.4% an­nu­ally.

‘‘The soft­en­ing in the New Zealand dol­lar dur­ing Oc­to­ber wasn’t suf­fi­cient to off­set weak global sen­ti­ment pre­vail­ing in com­mod­ity mar­kets,’’ Mr Work­man said.

Trade dis­rup­tion had dented con­fi­dence in New Zealand’s main ex­port mar­kets, with the im­pact on China of par­tic­u­lar con­cern, given this coun­try’s ex­po­sure to this mar­ket.

‘‘The CPTPP [Com­pre­hen­sive and Pro­gres­sive Agree­ment for Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship] that takes ef­fect in 2019 will be wel­comed by ex­porters, with a par­tic­u­lar ben­e­fit be­ing lev­el­ling the play­ing field with Aus­tralia for beef ex­ports to Ja­pan,’’ he said.

Monthly dairy prices fell 3.1%, or 12.3% on last year, and were now at their low­est level since Septem­ber 2016.

Ca­sein was the only dairy cat­e­gory to lift in price.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Go­ing down . . . the hor­ti­cul­ture sec­tor was down 4.3% in Oc­to­ber, un­der­mined by ap­ple prices, which fell 15.2%. Pic­tured, Fuji ap­ples from a Hawkes Bay or­chard.

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