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Farm Expenses Fall 0.4 Percent

Farm Expenses Fall 0.4 Percent

Farm input prices including livestock fell 0.4 percent in the September 2003 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the third consecutive quarterly fall in the Farm Expenses Price Index (FEPI), and follows on from a sustained period of quarterly increases from the June 1999 quarter to the December 2002 quarter. In the year to the September 2003 quarter, the FEPI recorded a 2.6 percent fall.

The most significant contribution to the fall in the FEPI came from a 3.9 percent fall in the index for interest rates, a result of competitive market rates. A 2.5 percent fall in the index for livestock purchases in the September 2003 quarter – reflecting lower prices for cattle, deer and sheep – also contributed to the fall in the FEPI.

Partly offsetting these falls in the September 2003 quarter was a 1.6 percent increase in the index for administration, which was mainly driven by higher labour costs. Other significant upward movements came from the indexes for rent and hire, up 2.5 percent, and the repairs, maintenance and motor vehicles index, which rose 0.6 percent.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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