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Seafood Exports Boom for NZ

25 July 2012

NEW ZEALAND - Primary industry statistics for the March 2012 quarter show what a boom of a production year it was for most. Total seafood export revenue was up by 9.4% in the March quarter, due to increasing prices and a volume increase of 3.4 per cent.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has released a new combined primary industry quarterly report, comprising production and trade statistics for the Dairy, Meat and Wool, Forestry and Seafood industries. It replaces separate quarterly reports for forestry and seafood that were previously released by the Ministry.

The primary sector continued to be an economic driver, with total primary sector exports accounting for 71% of all merchandise exports in the year to March 2012.

Total seafood export earnings increased from $354.5 million in the March 2011 quarter to $388.0 million in the March 2012 quarter (an increase of 9.4 per cent). All major seafood product groups contributed to this increase.

Total seafood export volumes increased 3.4 per cent to 80 267 tonnes in the March 2012 quarter. Export volumes were up for deepwater, inshore shellfish and pelagic species, but down for aquaculture and inshore finfish species compared to the March 2011 quarter.

The fact that the export revenue increased for aquaculture and inshore finfish species while export volumes decreased indicates that prices in our export markets have increased enough to offset any loss of export revenue from lower export volumes. This was achieved despite the high exchange rate with the United States dollar. The majority of seafood is traded internationally using the United States dollar. Inshore shellfish and pelagic species saw export revenue increase at a rate greater than export volumes. This would also indicate that prices in New Zealand’s export markets for these species have increased slightly.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

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