Media Release: Billions of untapped potential for New Zealand exports

New analysis from economic consultancy Infometrics reveals billions of dollars of untapped potential for Kiwi exporters for new markets and products across the globe.

Food for thought – export potential from the Top of the South provides a detailed view of opportunities for trade, focusing on the strengths of the top of the south. It identifies eight major categories of export products from the region, with up to $24b of untapped potential demand for those products internationally.

“COVID-19 has reinforced how important trade is to New Zealand’s economy, and Food for thought provides a comprehensive examination of where there are realistic openings for exporters to pursue,” says Infometrics Chief Forecaster, and report author, Gareth Kiernan. “It also highlights opportunities for diversifying export markets, enabling exporters to reduce the risks associated with being reliant on only one or two markets.”

The report draws on extensive analysis from a new export intelligence service from Infometrics, Export Market Finder, which works to determine how organisations can grow their exports by prioritising countries that offer the most untapped potential.

“Our data-driven, evidence-based approach to identifying potential export markets is especially effective in identifying less obvious markets. This approach also moves market identification away from anecdote and gut feel, which has often been the basis for decisions in the past,” says Mr Kiernan.

Although many obvious trade opportunities are profiled, including additional potential demand for many food-based export staples, smaller niche products have also been identified. “Our analysis has profiled products including peanut butter, ice cream, and mussel oil, which all have potential for growth that exporters in the top of the south can consider.”

The report highlights the strong growth in exports from the top of the south in recent years, with growth averaging 9%pa since 2015. “The top of the south’s strong export profile, coupled with the additional potential available to local exporters, underscores the economic opportunities that trade can provide across the region.”

Infometrics is launching the Food for thought – export potential from the Top of the South report, in conjunction with the Nelson-Tasman Chamber of Commerce and the Port Nelson Export Hub, in Nelson.


Additional insights

  • Wine: $5.3b in additional export potential
  • Seafood and aquaculture: $3.2b
  • Wood products: $4.0b
  • Logs: $0.96b
  • Fruit (including apples and kiwifruit): $1.0b
  • Meat: $3.0b
  • Dairy products: $1.0b
  • Other food products: $4.8b

Editor’s Note:

  • The report is being presented at an event with the Nelson-Tasman Chamber of Commerce and the Port Nelson Export Hub at 4pm, Wednesday 14 April, in Nelson.
  • Top of the south, Te Tauihu, includes Nelson City, Tasman District and Marlborough District.
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