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Fishing and forestry drive diesel demand

Fishing and forestry drive diesel demand

18 October 2016

Diesel use in the primary sector has increased in the last five years, and now accounts for over half of the sector’s energy use, Statistics New Zealand said today. The fishing and forestry industries were the main drivers of the increase.

In the year ended March 2016, New Zealand’s primary industries used about 630 million litres of diesel – enough fuel for a typical light vehicle to drive around Earth's circumference 193,000 times.

“Increases in diesel use in the primary industries reflect higher levels of production, with economic activity in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries rising 34 percent from 2011 to 2016,” business performance senior manager Jason Attewell said. “More than half of primary sector diesel use is in offroad vehicles and mobile machinery, such as bulldozers and tractors.”

Overall, the primary industries sector is using 26 percent more diesel than five years ago. This sector includes farming, fishing, forestry, and mining, but excludes dairy and meat processing.

The main drivers of the increase in diesel use were the fishing industry (up 76 percent from 2011), which uses diesel for marine vessel fuel, and forestry (up 42 percent from 2011), which uses diesel mainly for off-road vehicles used in log production.

Diesel use in the forestry and fishing industries reflects increased production, with steady rises in roundwood log exports and volumes of fish caught since 2011.

Over the same period, energy use was up sharply in the agriculture industry, as irrigation increased.

The primary industries used 37 percent more electricity in 2016 than in 2011. The rise was driven largely by the agriculture industry, which accounted for 73 percent of the total electricity used.

“A 19 percent increase in irrigated land in Canterbury over the last five years reflects the expansion of dairy farming into drier areas,” Mr Attewell said. “Irrigation needs electricity as well as water, and this seems to be what’s behind the large jump in electricity use.”

Energy use figures are derived from the annual New Zealand Energy Use Survey. This year the survey focused on energy use by the primary sector.

For more information about these statistics:

• Visit New Zealand Energy Use: 2016


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