Another hit for NZ’s returns
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.
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.