The Economic Intelligence Unit releases a Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) report twice a year. SOPI reports look at the performance of our main primary sectors and forecast how they'll perform over the next 2 to 5 years.
You can use SOPI to get historical and forecast data on production and trade.
SOPI also analyses the performance of primary industries in New Zealand and looks at emerging issues affecting trade and production.
Update from the latest SOPI – December 2023
The food and fibre sector has performed remarkably well over the past few years. Export revenue increased 8% to $57.4 billion in the year to 30 June 2023.
Looking ahead to the year to 30 June 2024, food and fibre export revenue is forecast to dip 5% to $54.3 billion. Weaker export revenue is expected in dairy, meat and wool, and forestry. However, forecast increases in seafood, kiwifruit, apples and pears, and arable products are set to limit the overall expected fall in export revenue.
Forecasts will be updated in the June 2024 SOPI.
- Dairy export revenue is forecast to decrease 7% to $24.1 billion in the year to 30 June 2024. This will be driven by a combination of weakening demand resulting in lower global dairy prices, and a likely drop in export volumes due to a decline in milk production. The decrease comes off the back of record high export revenue of $26 billion in 2022/23, an 18% increase from 2021/22.
- Global dairy prices are expected to improve in 2024/25, with export revenue forecast to rebound by 6% to $25.5 billion.
Meat and wool
- Meat and wool export revenue is forecast to decrease 5% to $11.6 billion in the year to 30 June 2024. Lower consumer purchasing power in key markets is weakening demand for beef and sheepmeat, while sheepmeat markets are becoming more saturated. The lower demand for beef, lamb, and mutton is expected to be partially offset by strong demand for pet food and venison.
- Looking further ahead, downward pressure on prices due to the high cost of living is expected to ease in 2024/25 as economies stabilise and demand starts to recover. Export revenue is forecast to increase by 2% to $11.8 billion in 2024/25, with higher prices offsetting lower volumes.
- Forestry export revenue is forecast to decrease 9% to $5.8 billion in the year to 30 June 2024. This updated forecast reflects downward pressure on log prices due to weaker property market confidence in China, and a less favourable 2023/24 outlook for pulp and paper.
- In 2024/25, the reopening and increased capacity of wood processing plants is expected to increase pulp and paper export revenue. Forestry export revenue is forecast to increase 5% to $6.1 billion in the year to 30 June 2025.
- Export revenue from horticulture is forecast to decrease 1% to $7 billion in the year to 30 June 2024. Lower export volumes of fruit and vegetables are a result of cyclones Hale and Gabrielle, as well as generally poor growing conditions, while wine is affected by lower demand driven by a rebalancing of wholesale inventories. Recovering yields in 2024 for apples and kiwifruit are expected to boost exports in the last quarter of 2023/24, offsetting poor growing conditions in the previous 2023 season.
- Continued recovery of export volumes is expected to help grow export revenue in 2024/25, along with strong consumer demand continuing to support export prices. The total value of New Zealand’s horticultural exports is forecast to grow by 17% to reach $8.2 billion in 2024/25.
- Seafood export revenue is forecast to increase 8% to $2.3 billion in the year to 30 June 2024. Continued strong demand, tight global supply, and expectations of a weakened New Zealand dollar are expected to drive higher export prices, while export volumes are expected to partially recover from a challenging year for seafood production.
- Export revenue is forecast to increase a further 6% to $2.4 billion in 2024/25. A continuing upward trend in seafood demand is expected to sustain high export prices, while improved workforce availability and more favourable environmental conditions for aquaculture are expected to contribute to a modest increase in export volumes.
- Arable export revenue is forecast to increase 7% to $290 million in the year to 30 June 2024, driven by increased prices for vegetable seed and increased volumes of clover seed. The elevated prices for vegetable seed also meant that export revenue in 2022/23 was stronger than estimated, increasing by 8% to $272 million.
- Export revenue is forecast to increase a further 3% to $300 million in 2024/25. Increased export prices and demand for vegetable seed, along with lower domestic grain prices, has created interest in shifting away from cereal crops toward vegetable seed for the next harvest.
Other primary sector exports
- Total export revenue for processed food and other products is forecast to decline by 5% to $3.3 billion in the year to 30 June 2024, stemming from the ban on livestock exports by sea that came into effect in April 2023. The drop in revenue from the ban is expected to be partially offset by upward trends in exports of vegetable oil and innovative processed foods, as well as an expected 8% recovery in honey export revenue. This decline follows record high export revenue of $3.5 billion in 2022/23.
- Total exports are forecast to remain flat at $3.3 billion in 2024/25, with marginal increases in some categories being offset by decreases in others.
We also publish supplementary data tables for the reports.