What drives aggregates freight?

Aggregates – various forms of crushed rock – are used for building and road construction. These materials accounted for 11% of total freight volumes (tonnes) in 2012/13 but tend to travel short distances. Nevertheless, with growing demand for construction materials, especially in Auckland, aggregates road freight is likely to track upwards over the years ahead.

Giving eradication our best shot means supporting farmers all the way

Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) is spreading fast in New Zealand and causing devastating effects for farmers. The Government this week announced an ambitious attempt to stamp out the disease, through mass culling and strict restrictions on farmers. M. bovis causes a wide range of problems in cattle, ranging from pneumonia to arthritis. The government says they have a good shot at eradication… if they act now.

Why are our car forecasts so much higher than last time?

We have revised up our car sales forecasts considerably over the five-year forecast period when compared to our February outlook. A big part of this long-term lift is a change in our forecasts for net migration. But there are also factors, such as high ownership rates and an improving economy, which are also going to push up demand for vehicles throughout our five-year forecast period.

Reserve Bank unlikely to consider rolling back LVRs

Plummeting house sales prompted the Real Estate Institute to call on the Reserve Bank to review its loan-to-value ratio limits. But the effect of LVRs is only part of the picture. Floating mortgage interest rates have ticked up over the past year. And, after being downgraded by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s for their high exposure to property markets, it appears that Australian-based banks are being more selective in their lending. With the target of financial stability, the Bank appears to be nowhere near the removal of LVRs.  

Log exports boost freight traffic

Exports made their rebound in the June quarter, with volumes up 6.8% from March (seasonally adjusted). Rising prices on the international market have supported a lift in dairy, horticultural, and forestry export volumes – so much so that Eastland Port boasted record log shipments in the month of June. Although the recovery in export prices has brought demand for heavy vehicles back on line, there are concerns about the consequent increases in road maintenance costs.