Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


High Value Harvest Underway

1 February 2013

High Value Harvest Underway

New Zealand’s annual seed harvest is about to hit overdrive, and if last year’s official trade figures are any indication, there’s a surprising amount of money riding on the next few weeks.

Vegetable and forage seed exports were worth NZ$168million for the year ended 31 December 2012, up from NZ$138million the previous year, reports Statistics New Zealand.

Seed industry leaders have welcomed the result, especially considering the exchange rate, and are now eyeing up ways to grow the trade further while maintaining the rigorous standards that position New Zealand at the top end of a large, competitive global market.

“New Zealand enjoys a world-class reputation for high quality seed production, and these figures clearly demonstrate the economic benefit of that,” says Thomas Chin, general manager of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association.

More than 41,000 tonnes of seed is exported each year, with radish, carrots, ryegrass and white and red clover among the most important crops.

Chin says on a kilo for kilo basis, few other sectors can match the value-add or efficiency associated with seed multiplication for re-export.

The industry’s key export markets by value are to the European Union, especially the Netherlands, Australia and Japan. The Netherlands takes most of our carrots, radishes and other vegetable seeds, while ryegrass is the most important crop for Australia.

With the China Free Trade Agreement now fully bedded in and the impending conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations he foresees ‘very interesting’ opportunities for the industry.

“Export growth could be boosted from the vast Chinese market demand for specialist vegetable seed once New Zealand officials can re-engage with their agriculture and quarantine counterparts and help regain an important trade for leafy brassica such as bok choy, choi sum and Chinese cabbage.”

This market was worth NZ$4.5 million when the Chinese shut it down in 2011, and seed industry estimates forecast a potential value of NZ$20 million in five years if it could be resumed.

Chin says trade to China is currently impeded by strict pest risk testing requirements and alongside the Ministry of Primary Industry the seed industry is developing a rigorous quality assurance regime to help minimise risk.

Meantime he and everyone else involved in the industry are keeping a watchful eye on the weather: “At this stage prospects for most crops look good to above average, so we’re hoping for a successful harvest.”

Annually, the New Zealand seed industry produces around 115,000 tonnes of crops on 30,000 hectares. Total sales are estimated to be worth $450million. Around 3,200 New Zealanders are employed in the industry and $20 million is spent on R&D every year.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news