Prepared by the bank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory division (FAR), the report provides monthly commentary on New Zealand and Australian
• June was mild in New Zealand, with winter really only arriving at the end of the month. The seasonal outlook in New
Zealand is generally for warmer than average temperatures and wetter than average rainfall. Continuing dry conditions
across Australia through June, consistent with the end of the La Nina event and expected to prevail into spring, have
switched the focus back to how much rain will fall on winter crops over coming months.
• Ongoing debt woes in Greece made news through June, although the expected slowing of US growth is also significant.
New Zealand’s economy has shown some more positive signs, with retail and wholesale sales and business confidence all up
slightly. The data in Australia are generally in line with the more sanguine and uneven picture presented at the global
• Both the NZD and the AUD fell back against the USD in response to the debt position in Greece, but have since
recovered to be trading around USD1.07 and USD0.82 respectively in recent days.
• Global dairy markets have been stable over the past few months, with production easing slightly and demand also
tempering. Production continued at strong levels in New Zealand and Australia through to the year-end. Prices for the
coming season in New Zealand and Australia both look favourable.
• Beef prices in New Zealand and Australia continued to ease in June, with the strength of local currencies and soft
demand the main headwinds. In Australia, the lifting of the ban on live cattle trade with Indonesia is a welcome
development for northern producers, who are now waiting for permits from the Australian and Indonesian governments
before trade can resume. Lamb prices have continued to ease in Australia and to rise in New Zealand, where new records
have been set.
• Global grains markets continued to ease through June. The USDA’s upwards revision of areas planted and stocks, better
weather and the possible re-introduction of Russian grain into export markets have combined to place downside pressure
on prices. Conditions in Australian winter cropping regions are good in eastern and South Australia, and fair in Western
Australia, with continuing rain now on most crop farmers’ minds.
• Oil prices fell during late June but have since stabilised around the USD110/barrel mark.
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