Farmers are back in the frame as the backbone of NZ’s export economy, after the Covid-induced collapse of the foreign exchange earning capacity of the tourist and international education industries. But it is not only the rural industries themselves which are scrutinising bulletins on the prices being earned abroad for commodities. Those data have become a vital item for New Zealanders eager to monitor the recovery of an economy battered by a one-in -100 year event.
This week the ANZ reported its world commodity price index had eased 0.2% in September as lower dairy and meat prices were largely offset by stronger prices for logs and fruit.
In local currency terms the index fell 1.3% as the NZ$ strengthened by 0.6% on a trade weighted index basis during the month.
Hard on the heels of those figures came the results of the latest Fonterra global dairy trade auction where the average price strengthened to $US3143 a tonne and wholemilk powder (which plays a significant role on Fonterra’s payout to suppliers) rose 1.7% to $3041 a tonne.
Volumes sold were about the highest offered in 2020 and the most bidders of the year showed up for the auction. Butter, up 8.4% to $US3561, rebounded from the previous auction. Continue reading “Dairy data should delight Covid recovery monitors while discouraging industry detractors”