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NZ & Australian Agribusiness Review February 2008

Rabobank's New Zealand & Australian Agribusiness Review February 2008

Please find attached a link to Rabobank's February 2008 Australia and New Zealand Agribusiness Review.

Prepared by the bank's Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) division, the report provides monthly commentary on New Zealand and Australian economic and agricultural conditions. Highlighted in this report:

- Summer 2008 has brought a number of unwelcome weather records for New Zealand with hot and dry conditions prevailing. While Australia recorded the hottest January on record, solid rainfall has brought relief from prolonged drought to many regions on the east coast of the country in early 2008.

- On an annualised basis, food prices increased by 3.2% in New Zealand and 1.2% in Australia. The Australian figure was moderated by large falls in fruit prices, which declined by 32% for the year.

- Volatility and uncertainty generated by the US sub-prime crisis and its global impact have continued to dominate all regional markets creating confusion over the direction of interest rates and currencies.

- The easing of international dairy prices which began in late 2007 has continued in early 2008, within increasing supply playing the largest role in in the price adjustment.

- World wheat and soybean prices soared to record levels in early 2008 due to extremely tight inventories and some panic buying.

- Raw sugar on the ICE futures market was one of the best performing soft commodities in January gaining 14% for the month.


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