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Another primary export joins the top-10 list

Media Release

26 May 2014

Another primary export joins the top-10 list

For the second consecutive month, exports of caseins and caseinates are New Zealand’s tenth largest export replacing aluminium and aluminium articles.

“The latest merchandise trade statistics for the year to April 2014 point to how the primary industries are hitting the afterburners,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“For every dollar in primary export earnings another 50 cents is captured off-farm, so the April trade result is massive for New Zealand in so many ways.

“While the standout remains dairy, up almost $3.8 billion on the same point last year, logs have surged by over a quarter meaning almost all the primary industries can stand up and take a bow.

“While exports of caseins and caseinates debuted at number-ten in the year to March, the April statistics sees it still in tenth spot. Caseins and caseinates generated $39 million more for New Zealand in this period than exports of aluminium and aluminium articles.

“Indeed, off this latest trade result, this category is now only $10 million behind exports of electrical machinery and equipment.

“Of course we are now in the shoulders and the drop off in peak dairy prices is yet to filter through. I expect dairy commodities will come back but it is an encouraging marker.

“Out of our top-10 merchandise exports in this period, the primary industries claimed seven places. Primary generated 89.9 percent of the top-10’s export income worth $30.1 billion.

“If we add in other primary exports, like wool, which was itself up by almost 25 percent in the month of April alone, we are now closing on the $40 billion primary export barrier.

“We are tracking towards a doubling of primary exports by the end of this decade, so long as we have infrastructure and policy supporting us.

“While China remains our largest export destination, with exports in the year to April up an amazing 54 percent, exports to the European Union were also up by 10.5 percent. This is a welcome sign the EU may be emerging from recession.

“But if you want a brilliant case for the Trans Pacific Partnership then these export figures provide it. Take Taiwan. It was our tenth largest export destination in February but is now number eight with exports up 15 percent on April last year.

“That’s due to trade agreements now paying off and it is telling that the export destinations in reverse or flat lining are mostly countries we do not have trade agreements with.

“The TPP would be like adding a supercharger to New Zealand employment opportunities, so long as it eliminates agricultural trade barriers and tariffs,” Mr Wills concluded.
The April 2014 Overseas Merchandise Trade Statistics are available here

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