WELLINGTON, March 19 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's primary industry exports are forecast to rise nearly 11 percent in the year ending June 2018 to 42 billion NZ dollars (30.4 billion U.S. dollars), driven by a series of demands such as those for New Zealand logs from China.
It would be the largest annual increase since 2014, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) latest quarterly update, Jarred Mair, MPI's policy and trade acting deputy director general, said in a statement.
Forestry exports are forecast to grow by more than 11 percent in 2018, supported by record harvest levels and ongoing demand for New Zealand logs from China, Mair said.
Dairy export revenue is expected to increase by more than 14 percent in 2018 due to a recovery in prices over the past 12 to 18 months. It is also the result of more milk being processed into higher value products such as infant formula, the official said.
"At the same time, the latest numbers show that dairy cow numbers have fallen since 2016," he said, adding that global red meat prices are expected to increase export revenue in the meat and wool sector by nearly 10 percent in 2018.
High returns and new policies are likely to create investment opportunities across the primary industries, Mair said, citing the example of high horticulture returns that are driving investments in productivity and competition for suitable land.
The government's One Billion Trees Program is another catalyst for investment and changing land use, primarily through increased replanting rates and new production forest area, he added.