WELLINGTON, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The value of New Zealand's primary sector exports is set to grow by 505 million NZ dollars (347.6 million U.S. dollars) to a new record high over the coming year, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said on Monday.
The Ministry for Primary Industries' latest Situation and Outlook report forecasts a 3.8-percent increase for primary sector export earnings for the year ending June 2019 to 44.3 billion NZ dollars.
"There's a lot to be positive about when strong consumer demand for high-value produce and good growing conditions have, in just the past three months, nudged up forecasts by an extra half a billion dollars," O'Connor said in a statement.
This shows primary sector exports will continue to be a strong contributor to the New Zealand economy, which is forecast to grow at about 3 percent a year over the next few years, O'Connor said.
Primary sector export growth is due to a range of positive pointers that also reflect the importance of moving away from volatile raw commodity markets and into markets offering sustainable, premium returns, the minister said.
"In particular for dairy farmers, good weather means plenty of grass and greater milk production at a time of growth in value-added products," he said, adding that this is set to be the fourth year in a row dairy export returns have risen following the dairy downturn of 2015.
O'Connor also warned of uncertainties in the global marketplace which means instability across commodity prices, exchange rates and equities.