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.

What have Russia and El Niño got in common?

Dairy farmers let out a collective sigh of relief last week as dairy prices rose sharply at the GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) auction for the third consecutive time.  Prices at last week’s auction were up an average of 16%, with the all-important price of whole milk powder climbing an even more rapid 21%.  Dairy prices are now up an average of 48% from their early-August trough, with whole milk powder prices pushing up 61%.  Whole milk powder prices are now within 5.2% of their level a year ago.

Dispelling myths about air freight exports

This article examines which goods contribute the most to air freight exports and what the outlook is for the availability of air freight capacity over the next couple of years. Air freight is an important part of New Zealand exporters’ logistical infrastructure. Although only 0.3% of New Zealand’s exports by weight were freighted by air in 2014, these exports were typically more expensive items and, in value terms, accounted for 13% of the total value of New Zealand’s exports.

Glut of mid-1990s used imports nearing scrap time

The New Zealand car fleet has aged rapidlyover recent years, with cars in 2013 averaging 13.5 years of age, compared with11.6 years of age a decade earlier.  This article looks behind the issue byproviding an overview of the age structure of the existing fleet and shows thatthe key contributor to the fleet’s aging is a glut of used imports manufacturedin the mid-1990s.

Taking stock of Europe’s recovery

This article takes a look at how theEuropean economic recovery is progressing.  Although only a small proportion ofNew Zealand’s exports head directly to Europe, the state of economic conditionsand demand in Europe can still have significant effects on commodity prices. Furthermore, Europe’s stabilisation is good news for New Zealand banks, as itwill help keep international financing conditions for our banks favourable.

Developing risks from the developing world

Although a sharp rebound in growth in NewZealand looks assured, one significant downside risk remains – a sizableslowdown in Asia.  In this article we discuss some of the capital marketpressures in Asia over recent months, what could go wrong, and why we don’tthink events in Asia will derail growth in New Zealand.

Is dairy farm debt a significant financial stability risk?

The Reserve Bank sounded a warning shot to the dairy sectorlast week in its latest Financial Stability Report, with Deputy Governor GrantSpencer saying that high farm debt levels pose risks to financial stability.  Althoughthe Bank was merely identifying a financial stability risk, some commentators haveerroneously interpreted the warning as implying that LVR restrictions for dairyfarmers are just around the corner.